Why Being Sympathetically Irrational Is The De Facto Decision-Making Position

Consider this:

As Person A, you are given $10 and told to make a RATIONAL decision about how much to share with person B.

Person B can accept the division of monies or not. If not, no-one gets to keep any of the money.

So, rationally, you need to give person B something, in order to keep them engaged, but all the real power is yours. A 50:50 split is not a rational choice. How much do you offer Person B?

This kind of decision-making game is commonplace at universities studying how people operate as individuals, in teams etc.

brainWe ask this question when we look at the personal branding brain. It is a useful reflection on how direct and driven people are. Is there a team dynamic going on?

Usually, I find people find it tough to be rational though! Generally, they veer towards irrationality because of a desire to be “fair”. In this game, fair is not rational (as an isolated, zero sum equation).

Person B should see that accepting any amount of money is better than saying “No!” and getting nothing instead.

However, most people seem to share $4-5 of the $10, acting as a sympathetic irrational agent. Sometimes, being fair is more important than being rational, I guess…

←This Much We Know.→

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