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Mola D. J., Godoy J. C., & Reyna C. (2019). Does Social Hierarchy Matter for Resource Distribution. Acta Colombiana de Psicología, 22(2), 70-83. https://doi.org/10.14718/ACP.2019.22.2.5


Resources are distributed unequally depending on the social status (SS) of people. Researchers have often used experiments to explain the role of SS in economic decisions. However, the diverse ways of inducing SS has produced contradictory results. The aim of this study was to analyze the effect of SS on the distribution of monetary resources in students aged 18 to 25 years from Córdoba (Argentina). Three experiments using mixed factorial designs were conducted. Different ways of inducing SS and the effect on decisions in different games were examined. In Experiment 1, the effect of two SS induction techniques on the decisions of the Ultimatum Game (UG) and Dictator Game (DG) was compared. In Experiment 2, the effect of SS on the same games, including Social Value Orientation (SVO) and Subjective Social Status (SSS) as covariates was analyzed. In Experiment 3, the role of SS, SVO and SSS in the DG and the Dictator Game Taking (DGT) was examined. In the three experiments, it was not found that SS had any effect on the decisions of the games. However, more rejection and negative valence was observed (Exp. 1: p < .001, n2 p =.72; Exp. 2: p < .001, n2 p = .65) for unfair offers than for fair ones (Exp. 2: p < .001). Also, pro-social individuals made fairer offers in the DG (Exp. 2: p < .05) and participants offered more money in the DGT than in the DG (Exp. 3: p = .01). Those findings showed that the effect of SS on behavioral responses is not robust, which highlights the need to obtain new experimental evidence to investigate its role in those decisions


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