Document Type

Article

Department/Program

Psychology

Journal Title

Plos One

Pub Date

2014

Publisher

9

Issue

9

Abstract

We conducted a simple resource allocation game known as the ultimatum game (UG) with preschoolers to examine the role of cognitive and emotional perspective-taking ability on allocation and rejection behavior. A total of 146 preschoolers played the UG and completed a false belief task and an emotional perspective-taking test. Results showed that cognitive perspective taking ability had a significant positive effect on the proposer's offer and a negative effect on the responder's rejection behavior, whereas emotional perspective taking ability did not impact either the proposer's or responder's behavior. These results imply that the ability to anticipate the responder's beliefs, but not their emotional state, plays an important role in the proposer's choice of a fair allocation in an UG, and that children who have not acquired theory of mind still reject unfair offers.

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0108462

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