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The Sharing Game: relation with losses and gender

Grant number: 12/23951-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2013
Effective date (End): July 31, 2015
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Experimental Psychology
Principal researcher:Antonio Celso de Noronha Goyos
Grantee:Fanny Silveira e Silva
Home Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


The use of economic games is useful for studies of complex social interaction situations. The Sharing Game, for example, proposes to study the processes of resource allocation and decision making. Researches involving this game have analyzed the effects of some variables on how people allocate resources, including: gender distributor or receiver, real or hypothetical monetary incentive, etc. In it, the participant must choose, in a series of alternatives, between two options with a number of resources for themselves and another participant passive and invisible. On these two options, the difference between the features of participants is always the same, but in one of them - the "optimal" choice - the distributor receives more and another participant still more, and in another - the "competitive" choice - the distributor receives less and another still less. Thus, the participant can adopt one of the following strategies of choice: optimized, competitive or egalitarian. This work intends to initially assess whether and to what extent, distributions of strategies in The Sharing Game are affected by contextual variables of gender and type of reinforcement (points without any value and points changeable by lottery tickets). Unlike previous studies with this game, the choices are related to losses, not gains. Each participant will start the game with 100 points, which will be subtracted from the total points that the participant accumulates at the end of the activity. So, the fewer points he allocates for himself in the game, with more points he will be. There will be two experiments, one for each type of consequence, and each experiment will have a group of one hundred participants with equal distribution of gender. It will be used a between-subjects design about the gender of the students to ascertain whether there will be any relationship between the gender of the participant and the pattern of choices in each experiment. Thus, designs will be used both intra-group and between the two groups in order to identify whether there will be any effect on real money in the second experiment. The percentage of optimal choices will be analyzed in each experiment. Games like this are important because they allow us to investigate the contingencies involved in the decision-making of people in the resource allocations. It also allows the investigation of the possible effects of variables (such as gender, monetary incentive or hypothetical) distributions on people's choices, to determine if these choices are influenced by these variables or not. Subsequently, the effects of other variables will be analyzed.

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