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Shawn Geniole, Elliott MacDonell, Cheryl McCormick; The "threat premium" in economic bargaining and who pays the price. Journal of Vision 2016;16(12):1401. doi: 10.1167/16.12.1401.
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© 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
What information do people use when deciding to be fair or exploitative in face-to-face bargaining interactions? We show that people extract information about threat potential from a stable cue in the stranger's face, the facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR), and dynamically adjust their bargaining behaviour based on this information. In a modified Ultimatum Game, participants (n = 100) gave larger offers to men (n = 48) with larger fWHRs (r = .46), an effect driven by the tendency to view such men as more aggressive than those with smaller fWHRs. This "threat premium" was most pronounced for male proposers who were physically weaker, and was at odds with, and suppressed, the tendency to pay attractive individuals more than unattractive individuals. Therefore, threat potential appears to guide economic interactions involving unrelated strangers, and this effect overrides any inclinations to favour those who are more attractive.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2016
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