Theory of mind and the Ultimatum Game in healthy adult aging

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Background
The Ultimatum Game assesses decision-making involved in cooperative interactions with others. However, little is known about the role that the ability to understand other people’s intentions plays in these interactions.

Methods
This study examined performance on the Ultimatum Game and theory of mind tasks in younger and older adults.

Results
Age differences were not found on the theory of mind tasks, and a lack of variability in performance prevented analyses of the relationships between performance on the Ultimatum Game and theory of mind. However, age differences were found on the Ultimatum Game, with older adults accepting more unfair offers. Yet, the two age groups did not differ in their appreciation of fairness, as assessed using subjective fairness ratings.

Conclusions
These findings suggest that older adults are more rational in their behavior, accepting unfair offers even when they know they are unfair, as it is in their self-interest to accept small monetary values rather than nothing at all.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-257
JournalExperimental Aging Research
Volume44
Issue number3
Early online date3 Apr 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Apr 2018

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