Friday, July 06, 2007

Ultimatum games and online games

Effect of testosterone on men's sense of fair play:

[In the 'low utlimatum game'], each subject started out with $40 and could anonymously offer either $5 or $25 of this sum to another player.

Comparing the hormone data with the results of the money game showed a correlation between high testosterone levels and an increased likelihood of refusing the low, "unfair" offer of $5.

Men who rejected the deal had an average testosterone count of 380 picomoles per litre of saliva, whereas those who accepted it had an average of almost 40% of that figure.

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Wired's Clive Thompson profiles Carnegie Mellon's Luis von Ahn who uses online games that tap into the 'free CPU cycles' of human brains for accomplishing certain things that computers are just not good at solving.

And Chronicle's Andrea Foster profiles Indiana University's Edward Castronova who uses online games for large-scale social experiments.