Strongly influenced by their self-interest, humans do not protest being overcompensated, even when there are no consequences, researchers in Georgia State University’s Brains and Behavior Program have found.
This could imply that humans are less concerned than previously believed about the inequity of others, researchers said. Their findings are published in the journal Brain Connectivity. These findings suggest humans’ sense of unfairness is affected by their self-interest, indicating the interest humans show in others’ outcomes is a recently evolved propensity.
It has long been known that humans show sensitivity when they are at a disadvantage by refusing or protesting outcomes more often when they are offered less money than a social partner. But the research team of physics graduate students Bidhan Lamichhane and Bhim Adhikari and Brains and Behavior faculty Dr. Sarah Brosnan, associate professor of psychology, and Dr. Mukesh Dhamala, associate professor of physics and astronomy, reports that, contrary to expectations, humans do not show any sensitivity when they are overcompensated. They conclude that humans are more interested in their own outcomes than those of others.
“A true sense of fairness means that I get upset if I get paid more than you because I don’t think that’s fair,” Brosnan said. “We thought that people would protest quite a bit in the fixed decision game because it’s a cost-free way to say, ‘This isn’t fair.’ But that’s not what we saw at all. People protested higher offers at roughly the same rate that they refused offers where they got more, indicating that this lack of refusal in advantaged situations may not be because of the cost of refusing. It may just be because people don’t care as much as we thought they did if they’re getting more than someone else.”
The researchers also used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study the underlying brain mechanisms from 18 participants, who played three two-person economic exchange games that involved inequity in their favor and not in their favor. Overcompensated offers triggered a different brain circuit than undercompensated offers and indicate that people may be responding to overcompensation as if it were a reward. This could explain the lack of refusals in this unfair situation, researchers said.
Each game involved three offers for how $100 would be split: fair (amount between $40 to $60), unfair-low (disadvantageous to the subject, amount between $0 to $20) and unfair-overcompensated (advantageous to the subject, amount between $80 to $100). Participants played 30 rounds of each game and earned about two percent of the total amount from the games.
In the first two games, the subject received an offer for how much money they would receive and were then asked whether they wanted to reject or accept it. In the Ultimatum Game, if the responder rejected the offer, neither player received any money, leading to a fair outcome. In the Impunity Game, if the subject rejected the offer, only he or she lost the payoff, meaning the outcome was even more unfair than the offer. The subject got nothing, but the partner still got their proposed amount. In the Fixed Decision Game, the subject could choose to protest or not protest the offers, but this didn’t change the outcome for either player. This allowed subjects to protest offers without an associated cost.
The blood-oxygen level dependent signals of the brain were recorded by an MRI scanner as participants played the games. The results of brain response provided new insights into the functional role of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and related networks of brain regions for advantageous inequity and protest.
A network of brain regions consisting of the left caudate, right cingulate and right thalamus had a higher level of activity for overcompensated offers than for fair offers. For protest, a different network, consisting of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and left substantia nigra, came into play. The researchers also mapped out how the brain activity flow occurred within these networks during decision-making.
Ferguson, Missouri remained relatively calm for the second night in a row. With only isolated arrests Wednesday and Thursday nights, a drawdown of the National Guard troops assigned with keeping the peace began Friday.
“[A] sense of normalcy” returned to the area along West Florissant Avenue ‒ the epicenter of continued protests against the police ‒ on Thursday. “People strolled to stores and city buses were back on schedule,” USA Today reported.
Local clergy and civic leaders worked to keep the events of the night orderly, urging protesters to remain peaceful and to return to their homes after dark, the Associated Press wrote. Demonstrations have occurred since the death of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson last Saturday.
So, the clergy have accepted that the right to peacfully assemble ends as soon as the sun goes down? That’s how that right gets whittled down.
I like to think Transformers’ headlights are as expressive as this. Different types of flashing lights would communicate all sorts of emotions. Maybe their lights flare and stay on if they’re scared, or pulse slowly when content, or flicker quickly and brightly when happy.
I’m just saying, most Cybertronians have some sort of body part that lights up, it would make sense if the lights were used to express emotions. Mechs with visors or mouth-guards would be able to still show emotion visibly this way. I think that would be cool c:
U.S. Navy To Test And Evaluate Lockheed Martin Industrial Exoskeletons
Lockheed Martin has received a contract through the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) for the U.S. Navy to evaluate and test twoFORTIS exoskeletons. This marks the first procurement of Lockheed Martin’s exoskeletons for industrial use. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
The FORTIS exoskeleton is an unpowered, lightweight exoskeleton that increases an operator’s strength and endurance by transferring the weight of heavy loads from the user’s body directly to the ground.
The objective of this effort is to mature and transition exoskeleton technology to the Department of Defense industrial base and perform testing and evaluation for industrial hand-tool applications at Navy shipyards.
Koko the gorilla is a resident at the Gorilla Foundation in Woodside, CA and communicates understands spoken english and uses over 1,000 signs to share her feelings and thoughts on daily life. After the first call about Robin’s passing, Koko came to Dr. Patterson with an inquiring look on her face. Dr. Patterson explained that ‘we have lost a dear friend, Robin Williams. Koko was quiet and looked very thoughtful, Koko signed the words for “woman” and “crying.” Koko became very somber, with her head bowed and her lip quivering; she was crying over the loss of her friend.
"Robin made Koko smile — something she hadn’t done for over six months, ever since her childhood gorilla companion, Michael, passed away. Not only did Robin cheer up Koko, the effect was mutual, and Robin seemed transformed — from a high-energy entertainer, into a mellow, sensitive, empathetic guy, who also happened to be really funny." -Dr. Patterson