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How to deal with windfall

May. 2,2015

Imagine that you get a “windfall” in common with a stranger who allocates more to himself. If you choose to accept, both of you will benefit, but you will get less than the stranger. If you refuse, neither he nor you can benefit. So what would you choose at this moment?

Fucheng Liang et al from Academy of Psychology and Behavior, Tianjin Normal University finds that in face of unfair distribution different age groups will show different behaviors No matter how unfair the distribution is, young children are willing to accept the all to get benefit. But elder children, adolescents and adults would rather sacrifice personal interests than put up with the unfair treatment.

So, what drives people to make such an irrational decision?

The study finds that elder children can’t stand the higher proceeds of others. Adolescents pay the most attention to the intension of distribution and believe that the unfair distribution to some extent represents the bad intension of distributor. Adults will weigh personal earnings, other people’s income and the intension of distribution to make a final decision.

The research findings were finished by Fucheng Liang, Xinyi Wang and Weihai Tang from Tianjin Normal University and published in the 3rd issue of Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2015.

Fairness has always been the basic rules pursued by social man. It is not only related to personal work efficiency and the physical and mental health, is also related to the country’s harmony and stability. In face of the unfair distribution of “windfall”, people even have a lot of consideration, to say nothing of the situation relevant to labor and the cost of input. Therefore, it is significant to do further research into the behavior and its reasons behind of various age groups in face of unfair situation, to help us to solve and realize fairness in real life.

This paper was supported by the major project of Humanity and Social Science Key Research Bases of the Ministry of Education.

Corresponding Author: TANG Weihai
CNKI Press Officer: ZHONG Ming
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