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The Sharing Game: a study with children to identify the behavioral patterns on a resource division

Grant number: 11/17188-7
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2012
Effective date (End): April 30, 2013
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Experimental Psychology
Principal researcher:Antonio Celso de Noronha Goyos
Grantee:Alice Frungillo Lima
Home Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


Economic games have been useful as experimental models of complex social interactions situations. Psychologists interested in the phenomenon of generosity have been using economic games to study processes of decision making and resource allocation. One of these games is called Sharing Game and researches have been examining the effects of some variables on how people allocate resources, including: gender of the distributor or receptor, human interaction versus computer-mediated interaction, real or hypothetical monetary incentive, etc. The objective of this research is to identify the behavioral patterns of preschool children in the Game Sharing and consistently demonstrate or not their opinions on how to divide a resource in a forced choice paradigm, as in the Sharing Game. In a within-subjetcts design, 32 preschool children of four years will make choices over blocks of repeated trials, each involving five choice opportunities, to distribute resources between themselves and a invisible, passive, participant choosing optimally, but not competitively, equally but not optimally, less optimally, but more competitive and in an altruistic way. The study will also allow a comparison between - subjects about the gender of the participants. An analysis of variance will be performed. These games are important because they allow: to analyze contingencies involved in the decision of people, to characterize choices as ideal, fair and competitive, and bring under scrutiny the examination of possible effects of other variables (e.g., gender, incentive, amount of money, information, etc.) on the distributions of choices of people to determine whether these choices are stable or influenced by these variables. Subsequently, the effects of other variables will be analyzed.

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