Bailey, P. E, Ruffman, T. & Rendell, PG. (2013). Age-related differences in social economic decision making : The ultimatum game. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences,(3), 356-363. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbs073
Objectives. Despite recognition of the increasing influence of emotion on decision making with age, there are few studies that have assessed older adults’ financial choices in a socioemotional context. Thus, social economic decision making between same- versus other-aged partners was assessed.
Method. Young (n = 35) and older (n = 34) adults participated in two Ultimatum Games. In the first, they proposed divisions of money between themselves and future young and older participants. In the second, they accepted or rejected fair and unfair divisions of money proposed by past young and older participants. Lastly, participants reported their anger in response to the offers that were proposed to them in the second game.
Results. In the first game, older participants divided the money more generously than did young participants. In the second game, young, but not older, participants rejected more unfair offers proposed by young relative to older adults. However, both participant age groups reported being angrier at unfair offers proposed by young adults compared with when receiving the same offer from an older adult.
Discussion. These findings are discussed in the context of evidence for improved anger regulation and increased prosocial behavior with age.
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