Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Neurochemistry of fairness

The new research shows that, despite the apparent significance of this behavior, it's remarkably easy to manipulate responses to the UG by tweaking brain chemistry. The authors of this study recruited volunteers that ingested a drink that was either a placebo, or one that would produce a short-term drop in the neurotransmitter serotonin. Five hours later, when serotonin levels should be stably depleted, the subjects with reduced serotonin rejected unfair offers at significantly higher rates than the placebo population. No difference in behavior was detected in offers that are typically viewed as fair.

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