Equity and individual preferences in an MDG

H. A. M. Wilke*, W. B. G. Liebrand, B. Lotgerink, B. Buurma

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Before participating in an Maximizing Difference Game (MDG) subjects were classified with the help of a social motive test (GDG, Liebrand, 1984) as having a cooperative, an individualistic or a Competitive preference for own/other outcome distributions. Thereafter subjects did make choices in an MDG. A status (high, equal, low, no feedback) × matrix (advantage: 8/6, disadvantage 6/81) × preference (competitive, individualistic, cooperative)‐design was employed, whereas one control condition, i.e. equal statuslmatrix equal (616) was added.
    Equity theory could explain the data rather well. Support was found for the status hypothesis, i.e. high status subjects made more D‐choices in an MDG than equal status subjects; equal status subjects made more D‐choices than low status subjects, and for the matrix hypothesis, i.e. matrix disadvantage subjects made more D‐choices than subjects playing in a matrix advantage position. Equity theory could also explain a significant status × matrix interaction effect. Support was partly found for a preference hypothesis: Competitors made more D‐choices than cooperatives, while contrary to the hypothesis, individualists behaved more like competitors
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)131-148
    Number of pages18
    JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1986

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