Monday, April 28, 2008

The sunny side of fairness

Neuroscientists from UCLA show that fairness, independent from monetary outcomes, triggers the happiness region in our brain. The authors used different versions of the ultimatum game where equal amounts of money were offered out of different original endowments (and as such, fair or unfair proposals). Additionally, accepting an unfair proposal seems to involve increased activity in an area that is involved with emotional regulation and decreased activity in the bit in our brains that does negative emotions. Suggesting that accepting an unfair proposal involves actively surpressing negative emotions. Original article here (pdf) (abstract).

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