What is an ultimatum bargaining game, and what does gender have to do with it? Sophomore Kayleigh McCrary explores this question.
An ultimatum bargaining game, as Kayleigh explains, is a situation in which one party proposes how to split a set amount of money, and the other party can either accept or reject the proposal or offer. Several factors contribute to the outcome of the game, including personal interests of the parties, or people, at play and the level at which they desire the money.
It is fascinating to see the connections that Kayleigh’s research makes to real world situations. The underlying questions are, why is there a gender gap? What is the cause of the disparity between men and women in society? The general population, Kayleigh addresses, believes that women tend to be more fair, and will accept lower offers as a result. This can include salary negotiations in the workplace and negotiating on a price when purchasing an automobile.
As part of her research, Kayleigh conducted two surveys using survey monkey. The surveys consisted of a sample of 10 men and 38 women. Each surveyor, or player, acted as receivers of an offer. Her hypothesis going into the research was that women would accept lower offers and men would accept higher offers.
From the results, Kayleigh concluded that women actually showed higher rejection rates overall to their male counterparts. However, men were found to have lower rejection rates, and there was a difference in rejection rates between their male and female proposers.
Kayleigh notes that the sample she worked with was not so random, and for further research, she hopes to be granted IRB approval to conduct her research at other local campuses such as GA State and Tech. She would also like to explore how other factors, like ethnicity and socio-economic class, play a role in the outcomes of ultimatum bargaining games