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10.01.2019 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 4/2019

Journal of Gambling Studies 4/2019

The Effects of Social Class on Individuals’ Decision-Making Tendencies in a Prestige-Money Game: Social Value or Instrumental Value?

Journal of Gambling Studies > Ausgabe 4/2019
Pei Wang, Cheng-Hao Tang
Wichtige Hinweise
A correction to this article is available online at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10899-019-09849-w.

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Through a series of three experiments, this study explored the possible influence of social class on the decision-making tendency of prestige-seeking in a Prestige-Money Game, and further explored the internal sources of such influence. In Experiment 1, the participants’ social class was manipulated to examine whether there were class effects in prestige-seeking when individuals of different social classes were paired together in a Prestige-Money Game. In Experiment 2, social rank, which only contained ranking differences, was adopted as a more abstract proxy variable for social class to investigate whether class effects still existed in prestige-seeking in a Prestige-Money Game. Based on the results of Experiment 1 and 2, Experiment 3 further explored the sources of motivation for prestige-seeking among subjects of different social class. The results showed that upper-class individuals showed greater money-seeking tendencies when facing an upper-class opponent, and showed greater prestige-seeking tendencies when facing a lower-class opponent. Such tendencies were derived from social rank; instrumental value played a substantial role. The game strategy of lower-class individuals were mainly oriented toward their personal needs. Specifically, they showed greater prestige-seeking when facing an upper-class opponent, and showed greater money-seeking when facing a lower-class opponent. Such tendencies were derived from the activation of their social class identity; the role of instrumental value was limited. These findings suggest that the essential differences in the game tendencies of individuals from different social classes in a Prestige-Money Game may originate from the fact that different social classes have different demands for the instrumental value and social value of prestige.

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