28 August 2012

Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner: Superfreakonomics

In this lecture, Levitt and Dubner explore the Dictator Game (based on the Ultimatum Game) and its results. In the game, people are given $10 and told that they can give a portion (from nothing to the full $10) to another person, like themselves, in another room, whom they will never meet and who does not get any money except what the first person gives them. They found that the amount people were willing to give dropped (but stayed positive) once they added the option take (that is, remove from their wallet) a small amount money from the second person and then went negative when they added the option to take a full $10. In short, when we have a chance to steal a little money, we generally do not, but if we can steal a lot, we generally do.

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