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Fair and unfair punishers coexist in the Ultimatum Game

Brañas-Garza, Pablo; Espín, Antonio M.; Exadaktylos, Filippos; Herrmann, Benedikt

Authors

Pablo Brañas-Garza branasgarza@gmail.com

Antonio M. Espín kanton@ugr.es

Filippos Exadaktylos f.exadaktylos@mdx.ac.uk

Benedikt Herrmann Benedikt.Herrmann@nottingham.ac.uk



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.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Aug 12, 2014
Journal Scientific Reports
Electronic ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Issue 6025
APA6 Citation Brañas-Garza, P., Espín, A. M., Exadaktylos, F., & Herrmann, B. (2014). Fair and unfair punishers coexist in the Ultimatum Game. Scientific Reports, 4(6025), doi:10.1038/srep06025
DOI https://doi.org/10.1038/srep06025
Publisher URL http://www.nature.com/articles/srep06025
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0





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