Where are You Watching? Patterns of Visual Exploration in the Ultimatum Game

The Open Psychology Journal 18 Oct 2013 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874350101306010076


The study aimed to advance the traditional issue of identifying decision strategy by analyzing the information processing in terms of visual exploration patterns. Twenty-seven participants played as responders in a computerized version of Ultimatum Game with an anonymous virtual partner.

Responders tended to reject unfair offers, probably due to their taste for fairness and to the unidentifiability of the other player that reduced the willingness to cooperate. Furthermore, according to the evolutionary approach, participants focused their attention more at themselves than at the partner. Among the three type of offers – hyperfair, fair and unfair – mid-value offers, such as fair ones, required more number of fixations and fixations duration, related to the more complex cognitive and reasoning processes involved.

Implications of this study could be applied in decisional settings with anonymous partners, such as those online, with future studies confirming the results found and integrating them through other process tracing methodologies.

Keywords: Decision-Making, Eye Tracker, Fairness, Reciprocity, Ultimatum Game, Visual Patterns.
Fulltext HTML PDF