Takagishi, H. (高岸治人), Fujii, T. (藤井貴之), Nishina, K. (仁科国之), Okada, H. (2016).
Fear of Negative Evaluation Moderates the Effect of Subliminal Fear Priming on Rejection of Unfair Offers in the Ultimatum Game.
Scientific Reports, 6, 31446.
The purpose of this study was to examine whether the tendency to fear negative evaluation moderates the effect of fear emotion on the rejection of unfair offers in the ultimatum game (UG). A photograph of a fearful face or landscape was displayed subliminally (i.e., for 10 ms) before the proposer’s offer in the UG was presented to participants. We used the Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale (FNES) to measure participants’ anxiety regarding negative evaluations from others. Results showed a significant interaction between FNES and condition (fearful face vs. landscape) in relation to the rejection of an unfair offer. Furthermore, the mean rejection rate of an unfair offer was significantly higher in the fearful face condition relative to that in the landscape condition among participants whose FNES scores were higher than the median; however, this difference was not observed in participants whose FNES scores were lower than the median. These results suggest that fear of negative evaluation moderates the effect of subliminal fear priming on the rejection of unfair offers in the UG, and that negative emotion induced by unconscious stimuli enhances rejection of these unfair offers.