The influence of physical appearance on a fair share

S. Jong, de, Rob van de Ven, K.P. Tuyls

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


There are many factors that influence people’s concept of a fair share. Personal preferences, additional information, as well as previous experience make humans choose different strategies when interacting with different opponents under otherwise similar circumstances. To account for such factors computationally, we previously introduced a utility-based model called priority awareness. In this paper, we present a study with human participants that provides additional evidence that humans use priorities when they need to think about a fair share. We perform this study by using a method called human computation, which can be used to explicitize implicit information by asking many people to perform only a few tasks. More specifically, we look at the impact of physical appearance on what humans consider a fair share. In an online survey, we present people with a few fictive opponents represented by a photo, and ask them to play an Ultimatum Game with these opponents. We aggregate the human data into a ranking and find that appearance has a strong influence on what people consider a fair share, i.e., people associate a different priority with different opponents, purely based on immediate appearance. The same method may be used to elicit other implicit influences on human priorities. Such influences may then be taken into account by developers of, for instance, multi-agent systems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 20th Belgian-Netherlands Conference on Artificial Intelligence (BNAIC 2008)
EditorsA. Nijholt, M. Pantic
Place of PublicationEnschede
PublisherUniversiteit Twente
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Event20th Belgian-Dutch conference on artificial intelligence (BNAIC 2008) - Enschede, Netherlands
Duration: 30 Oct 200831 Oct 2008
Conference number: 20


Conference20th Belgian-Dutch conference on artificial intelligence (BNAIC 2008)
Abbreviated titleBNAIC 2008
OtherBNAIC 2008 : 20th Belgian-Dutch conference on artificial intelligence ; Enschede, The Netherlands, October 30-31, 2008

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