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See detailOvercoming selfishness: Reciprocity, inhibition, and cardiac autonomic control in the ultimatum game
Sütterlin, Stefan UL; Herbert, Cornelia; Schmitt, Michael et al

in Frontiers in Psychology [=FPSYG] (2011), 2(173), 1-16

The processes underlying decision-making in response to unfair offers in the ultimatum game (UG) have recently been discussed in light of models of reciprocity and fairness-related behavior. It has been ... [more ▼]

The processes underlying decision-making in response to unfair offers in the ultimatum game (UG) have recently been discussed in light of models of reciprocity and fairness-related behavior. It has been suggested that behavior following norm-oriented, internalized expectations of reciprocity requires overcoming economic self-interest. In this study we investigated both, behavioral and peripheral-physiological indicators of inhibitory capacity related to neuronal networks that are likely to be involved in the behavioral response to unfair offers. Both heart-rate variability as an index of inhibitory capacity, and performance in a motor response inhibition task predicted rejection of unfair offers in an ultimatum game, suggesting an important role of inhibitory processes in overcoming economic temptations and regulating behavior conforming to social norms of reciprocity and fairness. The role of parasympathetic activity as a physiological trait-marker predicting inter-individual differences in the rejection of unfair offers is discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailFrames, decisions, and cardiac-autonomic control
Sütterlin, Stefan UL; Herbert, Cornelia; Schmitt, Michael et al

in Social Neuroscience (2011), 6(2), 169-177

The “framing effect” (FE) describes the phenomenon whereby human choices are susceptible to the way they are presented rather than objective information. The present study extends common decision-making ... [more ▼]

The “framing effect” (FE) describes the phenomenon whereby human choices are susceptible to the way they are presented rather than objective information. The present study extends common decision-making paradigms with frame variation by including inhibitory control, operationalized as vagally mediated heart rate variability (HRV) at rest and motor response inhibition during a stop-signal task (SST). We hypothesized that inhibitory control is inversely associated with susceptibility to framing effects. Forty adult volunteers performed a risky-choice framing task in which identical information about wins and losses was presented using loss or gain frames. As predicted, there was an inverse association between HRV and framing effects, accounting for 23% of the variance in framing effects. Inhibitory control as indexed by performance in the SST was not associated with framing effects. These results are discussed in terms of the role of inhibitory processes (as indicated by vagal activity) for decision-making processes. [less ▲]

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