Effect of Intoxication on Generosity | Article Analysis

621 words (2 pages) Essay

10th Apr 2018 Psychology Reference this

Disclaimer: This work has been submitted by a university student. This is not an example of the work produced by our Essay Writing Service. You can view samples of our professional work here.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UKEssays.com.

In their 50th volume, the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology published an article named “Focused On Fairness: Alcohol Intoxication Increases the Costly Rejection of Inequitable Rewards” in which they explored the effects of alcohol regarding an individuals propensity to accept a deal in with there exists unfair rewards. In the first study, participants were recruited from outside of bars in Pittsburg, PA between 9pm and 3am to play a modified ultimatum game with economical rewards. This type of field experiment was chosen in order to both find a pool of subjects that were unfamiliar with psychological studies and experimental economic games, as well as allow for participants to drink to their preferred level of intoxication, which may differ from what they would have been subjected to in a lab setting. Subjects had their BAC tested and then proceeded to be isolated in cubicles where they would complete the experiment. Subjects were led to believe they were playing against another live human, but in actuality they were playing against a computer program. Subjects were given 100 cents to play with in each round, deciding how much to offer their partner and how much to keep for themselves, and then would submit their offers to their partner who would either accept or reject the offer and then proceed to begin a new round with the roles having been switched. The computer program that the participants played with would accept any offer >30 cents and refuse any offer <30 cents, while returning with random offers between 10-60 cents (in increments of 10). Alcohol was shown to have no effect on the generosity or selfishness of either the initial or average proposals made by the participants, however the generosity of the first offer received by the participant was shown to have mild influence on the participants’ generosity for the duration of the experiment. Alcohol did however affect the number proposals accepted and the frequency with which they were accepted. In terms of number of offers accepted, intoxicated subjects were shown to accept fewer proposals than their sober counterparts, who had a higher tolerance for “unfair” proposals. A participants intoxication level directly correlated with the lowest offer they would accept, meaning subjects with higher BAC had a higher minimum offer that they would accept. Interestingly, the minimum offer accepted did correlate with the value of the first offer given by the program, when subjects were presented with a lower offer first, they were more likely to accept low offers throughout the duration of the experiment. Essentially, intoxicated subjects required a higher offer on average in order to accept it, as compared to the sober participants. When it came to fair offers, intoxicated participants were no more likely to accept or reject the offer than their sober participants, regardless of the timing of the offer. Intoxicated participants were however less likely to accept generous offers in the first round, although it is generally not understood why intoxicated participants were equally likely to take fair proposals in the first round yet less likely to accept generous offers in the first round when compared to sober participants, it is theorized that this may be due to confusion regarding the roles of the game in the first round.

Get Help With Your Essay

If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!

Find out more

The experiment essentially proved that while intoxication may have no effect on generosity or equitability of offers, it did have an effect on a subject’s propensity to reject unfair offers. Higher BAC reflected an increased likelihood of rejecting an unfair proposal, yet it had no bearing on likelihood of proposing or accepting generous and/or fair offers.

In their 50th volume, the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology published an article named “Focused On Fairness: Alcohol Intoxication Increases the Costly Rejection of Inequitable Rewards” in which they explored the effects of alcohol regarding an individuals propensity to accept a deal in with there exists unfair rewards. In the first study, participants were recruited from outside of bars in Pittsburg, PA between 9pm and 3am to play a modified ultimatum game with economical rewards. This type of field experiment was chosen in order to both find a pool of subjects that were unfamiliar with psychological studies and experimental economic games, as well as allow for participants to drink to their preferred level of intoxication, which may differ from what they would have been subjected to in a lab setting. Subjects had their BAC tested and then proceeded to be isolated in cubicles where they would complete the experiment. Subjects were led to believe they were playing against another live human, but in actuality they were playing against a computer program. Subjects were given 100 cents to play with in each round, deciding how much to offer their partner and how much to keep for themselves, and then would submit their offers to their partner who would either accept or reject the offer and then proceed to begin a new round with the roles having been switched. The computer program that the participants played with would accept any offer >30 cents and refuse any offer <30 cents, while returning with random offers between 10-60 cents (in increments of 10). Alcohol was shown to have no effect on the generosity or selfishness of either the initial or average proposals made by the participants, however the generosity of the first offer received by the participant was shown to have mild influence on the participants’ generosity for the duration of the experiment. Alcohol did however affect the number proposals accepted and the frequency with which they were accepted. In terms of number of offers accepted, intoxicated subjects were shown to accept fewer proposals than their sober counterparts, who had a higher tolerance for “unfair” proposals. A participants intoxication level directly correlated with the lowest offer they would accept, meaning subjects with higher BAC had a higher minimum offer that they would accept. Interestingly, the minimum offer accepted did correlate with the value of the first offer given by the program, when subjects were presented with a lower offer first, they were more likely to accept low offers throughout the duration of the experiment. Essentially, intoxicated subjects required a higher offer on average in order to accept it, as compared to the sober participants. When it came to fair offers, intoxicated participants were no more likely to accept or reject the offer than their sober participants, regardless of the timing of the offer. Intoxicated participants were however less likely to accept generous offers in the first round, although it is generally not understood why intoxicated participants were equally likely to take fair proposals in the first round yet less likely to accept generous offers in the first round when compared to sober participants, it is theorized that this may be due to confusion regarding the roles of the game in the first round.

The experiment essentially proved that while intoxication may have no effect on generosity or equitability of offers, it did have an effect on a subject’s propensity to reject unfair offers. Higher BAC reflected an increased likelihood of rejecting an unfair proposal, yet it had no bearing on likelihood of proposing or accepting generous and/or fair offers.

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

DMCA / Removal Request

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on the UKDiss.com website then please: