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Gender Differences in a Risk-Reduction Model of Sharing
Evolutionary Psychology  (IF1.506),  Pub Date : 2021-10-28, DOI: 10.1177/14747049211030205
Stephanie T. Jimenez, Matthew Bambino, David Nathaniel

The current experimental study investigated human sharing within a laboratory task that modeled environmental variability. In particular, it sought to assess the efficacy of a risk-reduction model of sharing, which originated from a risk-sensitive optimization model known as the energy-budget rule. Participants were given the choice between working alone or cooperating and sharing accumulated hypothetical earnings with a fictious partner. Failure to acquire sufficient money resulted in a loss of accumulated earnings. To investigate the effects of economic context on sharing, the difficulty of meeting an earnings requirement was manipulated across conditions by changing the monetary requirement that needed to be met in order to bank earnings, which could later be exchanged for real money. In some conditions sharing was the optimal strategy (positive budget conditions), sometimes working alone was optimal (negative budget conditions), and other times neither option was optimal (neutral budget conditions). Gender differences were examined within this context to determine if males and females differed in their sharing behavior. The results suggested that males chose the sharing option more often in the positive budget condition and showed a stronger preference for the work-alone option in the negative budget condition than females.