[ExI] we aren't the world

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Wed Feb 27 09:14:01 UTC 2013

On 27/02/2013 04:27, spike wrote:
> This is a long article, but the interesting part of it is stated in 
> the first four or five paragraphs:
> http://www.psmag.com/magazines/pacific-standard-cover-story/joe-henrich-weird-ultimatum-game-shaking-up-psychology-economics-53135/

The general finding is important, though: white male right-handed 
medical/psychology students might not be representative, yet they are 
the white lab rats of much of cognitive science. Of course, the white 
lab rats are not terribly normal either, when compared to the wild type...

> In any case, I never would have guessed it: an entire population was 
> found who play the game far differently.  In this ultimatum game, the 
> Peruvian first players would typically offer way less, and the second 
> players would usually accept.  Fascinating!  I never thought about it, 
> but it explains why we have soooo many lawyers in the US.
> Europeans among us, how would you play that game?  If I offered you 
> 40, would you take it?

Probably. It depends a bit on who I think I am playing with.

I participated in a radio program where we had an entire pub doing it, 
and we got people who both accepted 1 (typical business student 
thinking) and people who rejected anything below 50. But again, the 
educated philosophy-interested public is not particularly normal. In 
particular, when asked they had clearly overthought their choices in 
complicated ways. So I would offering less to business people and 
willing to accept less from them, while increasing things when I thought 
I was dealing with more emotional and less game-theoretic westerners.

The real fun starts, IMHO, when you give people a sniff of oxytocin. 
Then people become more generous:
There is a lot of research about how oxytocin changes people's altruism, 
generosity and willingness to punish defectors - and in-group favoritism 
- in economic games.

Anders Sandberg,
Future of Humanity Institute
Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20130227/e59d9d4c/attachment.html>

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list