The salience of a recipient's alternatives: Inter-and intrapersonal comparison in ultimatum games

M.J.J. Handgraaf, E. van Dijk, H. Wilke, R. Vermunt

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The social utility model suggests that in social decision-making, both inter- and intrapersonal comparisons are important in assessing the utility of a decision outcome. In the ultimatum game both these comparisons play a role. This is especially true for recipients reacting to an unfair offer. We propose that the relative weights inter- and intrapersonal comparisons receive in ultimatum games depend on the way the decision is structured. In three studies we show that presenting recipients with a straightforward choice instead of the usual accept/reject question makes recipients more inclined to accept unfair offers. Moreover, the existence of an alternative outcome, i.e., the fact that refusal of the offer also leads to a substantial outcome, similarly raises the level of acceptances in a standard ultimatum game. Results are discussed in relation to the joint/separate evaluation disparity and the distinction between occurrences and non-occurrences.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)165-177
    JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
    Volume90
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

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