Appreciative joy meditation enhances acceptance of unfair offer in ultimatum game

Ng, Gary Ting Tat, Lai, Derek Chun Kiu, Zeng, Xianglong, and Oei, Tian Po (2019) Appreciative joy meditation enhances acceptance of unfair offer in ultimatum game. Mindfulness, 10 (8). pp. 1673-1683.

[img] PDF (Published version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website:


Objectives: Empirical studies have shown that the Four Immeasurables Meditations (FIM) can enhance compassionate decisions towards others, such as helping victims being treated unfairly in economic games. However, research investigating how FIM affects individuals’ decisions when they themselves are victims is sparse. Thus, the current study utilized a randomized trial to scrutinize the causal influence of practicing FIM on people’s reactions towards unfairness that is directed at them. Methods: Meditation novices (N = 135) were randomly assigned to practice either a brief Appreciative Joy Meditation (AJM) or a matched neutral visualization. They then took part in the Ultimatum Game where they first acted as a proposer to propose an offer to another person, then acted as a responder to decide whether to accept a set of offers. Results: The AJM group accepted significantly more unfair offers, but neither proposed a higher offer to others nor changed the perception of fairness, as compared with the neutral visualization control group. Furthermore, self-reported emotional changes during meditation practice could not predict behavior in the Ultimatum Game, but the Self-Transcendence dimension of the Appreciative Joy Scale, which reflects one’s ability to feel happy for others when one is in an inferior situation, predicted higher acceptance rate of unfair offers. Conclusions: This study provided a piece of causal evidence that a brief practice of AJM can make people more tolerable to unfairness directed against them. Broadly, this study also inspired more investigations on attitudes towards people in superior situations in future studies on FIM.

Item ID: 61486
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1868-8535
Keywords: Appreciative Joy, Buddhism, Compassion, Decision-making, Four Immeasurables Meditations, Loving-Kindness, Ultimatum Game
Copyright Information: © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019
Funders: Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (RGC)
Projects and Grants: RGC Project No.: CUHK14605416
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2020 03:54
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5201 Applied and developmental psychology > 520102 Educational psychology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920205 Health Education and Promotion @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 2
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page