Pure Altruistic Punishment: An Event-related Potential Study

Document Type : Original Article


1 Shahid Beheshti University, Faculty of Psychology

2 professor, Department of psychology, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

3 Dept. of Clinical & Health Psychology, Shahid Beheshti University

4 Institute for Cognitive and Brain Science, Shahid Beheshti University


Aim: High levels of cooperation are formed in societies where people who violate certain norms are punished by the punitive behavior of others. The aim of the present study was to discriminate the types of reactions of individuals to unfair offers and to study their electrophysiological components. method: 40 male students of Shahid Beheshti University participated in this study through available sampling and their reaction in the modified form of dictator and ultimatum games was measured and evaluated. Findings: Behavioral findings showed most participants did not accept unfair offers and behaved equally unfairly in DG. The results of the hierarchical clustering analysis showed that groups are divided into four groups based on fair-unfair continuity in both games. The behavior of the first group was in the form of pure altruistic punishment and the other groups included a kind of selfishness and behavioral inconsistency. Electrophysiological data showed that in the first group, the FRN and P300 amplitude were lower than in the other groups. Conclusion: This study deepens our understanding of the foundation of justice as a moral construct by respondents and allows us to assess the processes that exist specifically to evaluate fair and unfair proposals. as far as we know, this study is the first to show the difference between neural data based on event related potential, arising from altruistic punishment, and other forms of punishment, and provide important practical implications for the evolution of collaboration.

Key words: Altruistic Punishment,, Event-related Potential


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