The present study aimed at investigating whether the way offers are framed in the Ultimatum Game (UG) affects behavioral and autonomic responses in men and women. The “I give you” and “I take” expressions were used as gain and loss frames, respectively. Skin conductance and heart rate were recorded as indices of autonomic activation in response to unfair, mid-value, and fair offers. Acceptance rates were higher in men than in women under the gain frame. Moreover, men showed higher acceptance rates under the gain than under the loss frame with mid-value offers, whereas women's choices were not affected by frame. On the physiological level, men produced differential autonomic response patterns during decision-making when offers were presented under gain and loss framing. The “I take” frame, by acting as a loss frame, elicited in men the characteristic defensive response pattern that is evoked by aversive stimulation, in which increases in skin conductance are coupled with increases in heart rate. On the other hand, the “I give you” frame, by acting as a gain frame, elicited in men increases in skin conductance associated with prevailing heart rate deceleratory responses, reflecting a state of enhanced attention and orienting. In contrast, women's autonomic reactivity was not affected by frame, consistent with behavioral results. Phasic changes in heart rate were crucial in revealing differential functional significance of skin conductance responses under different frames in men, thus questioning the assumption that this autonomic measure can be used as an index of negative emotional arousal in the UG.

Framing the Ultimatum Game: Gender differences and autonomic responses

SARLO, MICHELA;
2013-01-01

Abstract

The present study aimed at investigating whether the way offers are framed in the Ultimatum Game (UG) affects behavioral and autonomic responses in men and women. The “I give you” and “I take” expressions were used as gain and loss frames, respectively. Skin conductance and heart rate were recorded as indices of autonomic activation in response to unfair, mid-value, and fair offers. Acceptance rates were higher in men than in women under the gain frame. Moreover, men showed higher acceptance rates under the gain than under the loss frame with mid-value offers, whereas women's choices were not affected by frame. On the physiological level, men produced differential autonomic response patterns during decision-making when offers were presented under gain and loss framing. The “I take” frame, by acting as a loss frame, elicited in men the characteristic defensive response pattern that is evoked by aversive stimulation, in which increases in skin conductance are coupled with increases in heart rate. On the other hand, the “I give you” frame, by acting as a gain frame, elicited in men increases in skin conductance associated with prevailing heart rate deceleratory responses, reflecting a state of enhanced attention and orienting. In contrast, women's autonomic reactivity was not affected by frame, consistent with behavioral results. Phasic changes in heart rate were crucial in revealing differential functional significance of skin conductance responses under different frames in men, thus questioning the assumption that this autonomic measure can be used as an index of negative emotional arousal in the UG.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2673272
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