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Frustration and anger in the ultimatum game: an experiment


Aina, Chiara; Battigalli, Pierpaolo; Gamba, Astrid (2020). Frustration and anger in the ultimatum game: an experiment. Games and Economic Behavior, 122:150-167.

Abstract

In social dilemmas, choices may depend on belief-dependent motivations enhancing the credibility of promises or threats at odds with personal gain maximization. We address this issue theoretically and experimentally in the context of the Ultimatum Minigame, assuming that the choice of accepting or rejecting a greedy proposal is affected by a combination of frustration, due to unfulfilled expectations, and inequity aversion. We increase the responder's payoff from the default allocation (the proposer's outside option) with the purpose of increasing the responder's frustration due to the greedy proposal, and thus his willingness to reject it. In addition, we manipulate the method of play, with the purpose of switching on (direct response method) and off (strategy method) the responder's experience of anger. Our behavioral predictions across and within treatments are derived from the theoretical model complemented by explicit auxiliary assumptions, without relying on equilibrium analysis.

Abstract

In social dilemmas, choices may depend on belief-dependent motivations enhancing the credibility of promises or threats at odds with personal gain maximization. We address this issue theoretically and experimentally in the context of the Ultimatum Minigame, assuming that the choice of accepting or rejecting a greedy proposal is affected by a combination of frustration, due to unfulfilled expectations, and inequity aversion. We increase the responder's payoff from the default allocation (the proposer's outside option) with the purpose of increasing the responder's frustration due to the greedy proposal, and thus his willingness to reject it. In addition, we manipulate the method of play, with the purpose of switching on (direct response method) and off (strategy method) the responder's experience of anger. Our behavioral predictions across and within treatments are derived from the theoretical model complemented by explicit auxiliary assumptions, without relying on equilibrium analysis.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Finance
Social Sciences & Humanities > Economics and Econometrics
Uncontrolled Keywords:Experiments, psychological games, ultimatum minigame, frustration, anger, non-equilibrium analysis
Language:English
Date:July 2020
Deposited On:15 Feb 2021 10:27
Last Modified:16 Feb 2021 21:00
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0899-8256
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geb.2020.04.006
Project Information:
  • : FunderFP7
  • : Grant ID324219
  • : Project TitleSTRATEMOTIONS - Reasoning About Strategic Interaction and Emotions

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