In the Ultimatum game, you're handed $100 and told to offer a portion to someone else. If the person accepts, then both of you get the money. If he declines, then none of you get it.
Americans typically offer (almost) $50, and reject offers below $40 if the tables were turned. After all, fair is fair, right? But is this how the rest of the world think?
Researchers from the University of British Columbia decided to test the Ultimatum Game to the rest of the world and found that the Western concept of fairness is actually not the norm, it's the outlier. Western, educated, industrialized, rich, democratic (WEIRD) people, he argued, are actually the weird ones:
It seems most of humanity would play the game differently. Joseph Henrich of the University of British Columbia took the Ultimatum Game into the Peruvian Amazon as part of his work on understanding human co-operation in the mid-1990s and found that the Machiguenga considered the idea of offering half your money downright weird — and rejecting an insultingly low offer even weirder.
"I was inclined to believe that rejection in the Ultimatum Game would be widespread. With the Machiguenga, they felt rejecting was absurd, which is really what economists think about rejection," Dr. Henrich says. "It's completely irrational to turn down free money. Why would you do that?"
http://www.nationalpost.com/Westerners%2BWorld%2Bweird%2Bones/3427126/story.html - via Metafilter