DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2017.00903

Advances in Psychological Science (心理科学进展) 2017/25:6 PP.903-911

The cognitive and neural mechanisms of perception of unfairness and related decision-making process

Fairness is one of the basic norms in human societies. Researchers have been focusing on the perception of unfairness and the related decision-making process. The Ultimatum Game and its modified versions were typically employed to explore such issues. A large number of brain imaging studies have investigated people's neural responses to unfairness and the neural mechanisms underlying unfairness-related decision-making and identified the involvement of several key brain regions, including anterior insula, anterior cingulate cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, medial prefrontal cortex, amygdala and temporo-parietal junction. Researches among special populations further helps to examine and clarify roles of these brain areas and characteristics of special populations' social cognitive functions. In recent years, many studies focused on impacts of various contexts on people's behavioral and brain responses to unfairness. Future studies might consider the usage of multi-modal data analysis methods, in combination with studies on genes and hormones, to achieve a better understanding of psychological and physiological mechanisms of unfairness and its related decision-making process.

Key words:fairness norm,perception of unfairness,decision-making,cognitive and neural mechanisms,social context

ReleaseDate:2017-08-07 10:18:49

Almås, I., Cappelen, A. W., Sørensen, E. Ø., & Tungodden, B. (2010). Fairness and the development of inequality acceptance. Science, 328, 1176-1178.

Baumgartner, T., Götte, L., Gügler, R., & Fehr, E. (2012). The mentalizing network orchestrates the impact of parochial altruism on social norm enforcement. Human Brain Mapping, 33, 1452-1469.

Baumgartner, T., Knoch, D., Hotz, P., Eisenegger, C., & Fehr, E. (2011). Dorsolateral and ventromedial prefrontal cortex orchestrate normative choice. Nature Neuroscience, 14, 1468-1474.

Bechara, A., Damasio, H., Damasio, A. R., & Lee, G. P. (1999). Different contributions of the human amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex to decision-making. The Journal of Neuroscience, 19, 5473-5481.

Botvinick, M., Nystrom, L. E., Fissell, K., Carter, C. S., & Cohen, J. D. (1999). Conflict monitoring versus selection-for-action in anterior cingulate cortex. Nature, 402, 179-181.

Buckholtz, J. W., Asplund, C. L., Dux, P. E., Zald, D. H., Gore, J. C., & Jones, O. D. (2008). The neural correlates of third-party punishment. Neuron, 60, 930-940.

Buckholtz, J. W., & Marois R. (2012). The roots of modern justice:Cognitive and neural foundations of social norms and their enforcement. Nature Neuroscience, 15, 655-661.

Buckholtz, J. W., Martin, J. W., Treadway, M. T., Jan, K., Zald, D. H., Jones, O., & Marois, R. (2015). From blame to punishment:Disrupting prefrontal cortex activity reveals norm enforcement mechanisms. Neuron, 87, 1369-1380.

Burnham, T. C. (2007). High-testosterone men reject low ultimatum game offers. Proceedings of the Royal Society B:Biological Sciences, 274, 2327-2330.

Chang, L. J., & Sanfey, A. G. (2011). Great expectations:Neural computations underlying the use of social norms in decision-making. Social Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience, 8, 277-284.

Cheng, X. M., Zheng, L., Li, L., Guo, X. Y., Wang, Q. F., Lord, A., … Yang, G. (2015). Power to punish norm violations affects the neural processes of fairness-related decision making. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 9, 344.

Civai, C., Crescentini, C., Rustichini, A., & Rumiati, R. I. (2012). Equality versus self-interest in the brain:Differential roles of anterior insula and medial prefrontal cortex. NeuroImage, 62, 102-112.

Civai, C., Miniussi, C., & Rumiati, R. I. (2014). Medial prefrontal cortex reacts to unfairness if this damages the self:A tDCS study. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 10, 1054-1060.

Corradi-Dell'Acqua, C., Civai, C., Rumiati, R. I., & Fink, G. R. (2013). Disentangling self-and fairness-related neural mechanisms involved in the ultimatum game:An fMRI study. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 8, 424-431.

Crockett, M. J., Clark, L., Tabibnia, G., Lieberman, M. D., & Robbins, T. W. (2008). Serotonin modulates behavioral reactions to unfairness. Science, 320, 1739.

De Martino, B., Kumaran, D., Seymour, B., & Dolan, R. J. (2006). Frames, biases, and rational decision-making in the human brain. Science, 313, 684-687.

Emanuele, E., Brondino, N., Bertona, M., Re, S., & Geroldi, D. (2008). Relationship between platelet serotonin content and rejections of unfair offers in the ultimatum game. Neuroscience Letters, 437, 158-161.

Feinstein, J. S., Adolphs, R., Damasio, A., & Tranel, D. (2011). The human amygdala and the induction and experience of fear. Current Biology, 21, 34-38.

Gallagher, H. L., Happé, F., Brunswick, N., Fletcher, P. C., Frith, U., & Frith, C. D. (2000). Reading the mind in cartoons and stories:An fMRI study of ‘theory of mind’ in verbal and nonverbal tasks. Neuropsychologia, 38, 11-21.

Gospic, K., Mohlin, E., Fransson, P., Petrovic, P., Johannesson, M., & Ingvar, M. (2011). Limbic justice-amygdala involvement in immediate rejection in the ultimatum game. PLoS Biology, 9, e1001054.

Gradin, V. B., Pérez, A., MacFarlane, J. A., Cavin, I., Waiter, G., Engelmann, J., … Steele J. D. (2015). Abnormal brain responses to social fairness in depression:An fMRI study using the ultimatum game. Psychological Medicine, 45, 1241-1251.

Guo, X. Y., Li, Z., Lei, Z., Li, J. Q., Wang, Q. F., Dienes, Z., & Yang, Z. L. (2013). Increased neural responses to unfairness in a loss context. NeuroImage, 77, 246-253.

Guo, X. Y., Zheng, L., Cheng, X. M., Chen, M. H., Zhu, L., Li, J. Q., … Yang, Z. L. (2014). Neural responses to unfairness and fairness depend on self-contribution to the income. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 9, 1498-1505.

Güroğlu, B., van den Bos, W., Rombouts, S. A. R. B., & Crone, E. A. (2010). Unfair? It depends:Neural correlates of fairness in social context. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 5, 414-423.

Güroğlu, B., van den Bos, W., van Dijk, E., Rombouts, S. A. R. B., & Crone, E. A. (2011). Dissociable brain networks involved in development of fairness considerations:Understanding intentionality behind unfairness. Neuroimage, 57, 634-641.

Güth, W., Schmittberger, R., & Schwarze, B. (1982). An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 3, 367-388.

Harlé, K. M., Allen, J. J., & Sanfey, A. G. (2010). The impact of depression on social economic decision making. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 119, 440-446.

Haruno, M., & Frith, C. D. (2010). Activity in the amygdala elicited by unfair divisions predicts social value orientation. Nature Neuroscience, 13, 160-161.

Hewig, J., Kretschmer, N., Trippe, R. H., Hecht, H., Coles, M. G. H., Holroyd, C. B., & Miltner, W. H. R. (2011). Why humans deviate from rational choice. Psychophysiology, 48, 507-514.

Hu, J., Blue, P. R., Yu, H. B., Gong, X. L., Xiang, Y., Jiang, C. J., & Zhou, X. L. (2016). Social status modulates the neural response to unfairness. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 11, 1-10.

Kahneman, D., & Tversky, A. (1979). Prospect theory:An analysis of decision under risk. Econometric, 47, 263-292.

Knoch, D., Pascual-Leone, A., Meyer, K., Treyer, V., & Fehr, E. (2006). Diminishing reciprocal fairness by disrupting the right prefrontal cortex. Science, 314, 829-832.

Kosfeld, M., Heinrichs, M., Zak, P. J., Fischbacher, U., & Fehr, E. (2005). Oxytocin increases trust in humans. Nature, 435, 673-676.

Koenigs, M., & Tranel, D. (2007). Irrational economic decision-making after ventromedial prefrontal damage:Evidence from the ultimatum game. The Journal of Neuroscience, 27, 951-956.

MacDonald, A. W., Cohen, J. D., Stenger, V. A., & Carter, C. S. (2000). Dissociating the role of the dorsolateral prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortex in cognitive control. Science, 288, 1835-1838.

Moretti, L., Dragone, D., & di Pellegrino, G. (2010). Reward and social valuation deficits following ventromedial prefrontal damage. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 21, 128-140.

Novemsky, N., & Kahneman, D. (2005). The boundaries of loss aversion. Journal of Marketing Research, 42, 119-128.

Ohtsubo, Y., Matsunaga, M., Komiya, A., Tanaka, H., Mifune, N., & Yagi, A. (2014). Oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) polymorphism and self-punishment after an unintentional transgression. Personality and Individual Differences, 69, 182-186.

Pillutla, M. M., & Murnighan, J. K. (1996). Unfairness, anger, and spite:Emotional rejections of ultimatum offers. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 68, 208-224.

Rauch, S. L., Shin, L. M., & Wright, C. I. (2003). Neuroimaging studies of amygdala function in anxiety disorders. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 985, 389-410.

Sanfey, A. G., Hastie, R., Colvin, M. K., & Grafman, J. (2003). Phineas gauged:Decision-making and the human prefrontal cortex. Neuropsychologia, 41, 1218-1229.

Saxe, R., & Kanwisher, N. (2003). People thinking about thinking people:The role of the temporo-parietal junction in "theory of mind". NeuroImage, 19, 1835-1842.

Scott, S. K., Young, A. W., Calder, A. J., Hellawell, D. J., Aggleton, J. P., & Johnsons, M. (1997). Impaired auditory recognition of fear and anger following bilateral amygdala lesions. Nature, 385, 254-257.

Tabibnia, G., Satpute, A. B., & Lieberman, M. D. (2008). The sunny side of fairness:Preference for fairness activates reward circuitry (and disregarding unfairness activates self-control circuitry). Psychological Science, 19, 339-347.

Tversky, A., & Kahneman, D. (1981). The framing of decisions and the psychology of choice. Science, 211, 453-458.

van den Bos, W., Vahl, P., Güroğlu, B., van Nunspeet, F., Colins, O., Markus, M., … & Crone, E. A. (2014). Neural correlates of social decision-making in severely antisocial adolescents. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 9, 2059-2066.

van Veen, V., & Carter, C. S. (2002). The anterior cingulate as a conflict monitor:fMRI and ERP studies. Physiology & Behavior, 77, 477-482.

van't Wout, M., Kahn, R. S., Sanfey, A. G., & Aleman, A. (2006). Affective state and decision-making in the ultimatum game. Experimental Brain Research, 169, 564-568.

Vieira, J. B., Almeida, P. R., Ferreira-Santos, F., Barbosa, F., Marques-Teixeira, J., & Marsh, A. A. (2013). Distinct neural activation patterns underlie economic decisions in high and low psychopathy scorers. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 9, 1099-1107.

Wu, T. T., Luo, Y., Broster, L. S., Gu, R. L., & Luo, Y. J. (2012). The impact of anxiety on social decision-making:Behavioral and electrodermal findings. Social Neuroscience, 8, 11-21.

Xiang, T., Lohrenz, T., & Montague, P. R. (2013). Computational substrates of norms and their violations during social exchange. The Journal of Neuroscience, 33, 1099-1108.

Zak, P. J., Kurzban, R., Ahmadi, S., Swerdloff, R. S., Park, J., Efremidze, L., … Matzner W. (2009). Testosterone administration decreases generosity in the ultimatum game. PLoS One, 4, e8330.

Zak, P. J., Stanton, A. A., & Ahmadi, S. (2007). Oxytocin increases generosity in humans. PLoS One, 2, e1128.

Zalla, T., Koechlin, E., Pietrini, P., Basso, G., Aquino, P., Sirigu, A., & Grafman, J. (2000). Differential amygdala responses to winning and losing:A functional magnetic resonance imaging study in humans. European Journal of Neuroscience, 12, 1764-1770.

Zheng, L., Guo, X. Y., Zhu, L., Li, J. Q., Chen, L. G., & Dienes, Z. (2015). Whether others were treated equally affects neural responses to unfairness in the ultimatum game. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 10, 461-466.

Zhong, S. F., Israel, S., Shalev, I., Xue, H., Ebstein, R. P., & Chew, S. H. (2010). Dopamine d4 receptor gene associated with fairness preference in ultimatum game. PLoS One, 5, e13765.

Zhou, X. L., & Wu, Y. (2011). Sharing losses and sharing gains:Increased demand for fairness under adversity. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47, 582-588.

Zhou, Y., Wang, Y., Rao, L. L., Yang, L. Q., & Li, S. (2014). Money talks:Neural substrate of modulation of fairness by monetary incentives. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 8, 150.