Fair and unfair punishers coexist in the Ultimatum Game

Article


Branas-Garza, P., Espín, A., Exadaktylos, F. and Herrmann, B. 2014. Fair and unfair punishers coexist in the Ultimatum Game. Scientific Reports. 4 (6025). https://doi.org/10.1038/srep06025
TypeArticle
TitleFair and unfair punishers coexist in the Ultimatum Game
AuthorsBranas-Garza, P., Espín, A., Exadaktylos, F. and Herrmann, B.
Abstract

In the Ultimatum Game, a proposer suggests how to split a sum of money with a responder. If the responder rejects the proposal, both players get nothing. Rejection of unfair offers is regarded as a form of punishment implemented by fair-minded individuals, who are willing to impose the cooperation norm at a personal cost. However, recent research using other experimental frameworks has observed non-negligible levels of antisocial punishment by competitive, spiteful individuals, which can eventually undermine cooperation. Using two large-scale experiments, this note explores the nature of Ultimatum Game punishers by analyzing their behavior in a Dictator Game. In both studies, the coexistence of two entirely different sub-populations is confirmed: prosocial punishers on the one hand, who behave fairly as dictators, and spiteful (antisocial) punishers on the other, who are totally unfair. The finding has important implications regarding the evolution of cooperation and the behavioral underpinnings of stable social systems.

PublisherNature Publishing Group
JournalScientific Reports
ISSN2045-2322
Publication dates
Print12 Aug 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited12 Sep 2014
Accepted04 Jul 2014
Output statusPublished
Publisher's version
License
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1038/srep06025
LanguageEnglish
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