Anger, Fairness and What's in the Brain



Rick K. Wilson

Rice University

Models of human strategic behavior overlook the importance of emotion for off the equilibrium path behavior. The research reported here uses a simple ultimatum game in a laboratory setting and focuses on patterns of rejections by subjects in different affective states. Subjects' affect is manipulated using photographed images. Subjects then use the strategy method to decide the size of offer they are willing to accept. Results show that affect is important for strategic behavior and that systematic differences arise in what subjects will accept. These results are important for our understanding of behavioral game theory.