Take Action

Home | Faculty & Research Overview | Research

Research Details

Social utility and decision making in interpersonal contexts, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

Abstract

Three studies examined preferences for outcomes to self and a codisputant. Studies 1 and 2 estimated social utility functions from judgments of satisfaction with alternative outcomes. Comparing functional forms, we found that a utility function, including terms for own payoff and for positive and negative discrepancies between the parties' payoffs (advantageous and disadvantageous inequality), provides a close fit to the data. The typical utility function is steeply increasing and convex for disadvantageous inequality and weakly declining and convex for advantageous inequality. We manipulated dispute type (personal, business) and disputant relationship (positive, neutral, or negative) and found that both strongly influence preferences for advantageous but not disadvantageous inequality. A third study contrasted implications of the social utility functions with predictions of individual utility theories.

Type

Article

Author(s)

George F. Loewenstein, Leigh Thompson, Max H Bazerman

Date Published

1989

Citations

Loewenstein, F. George, Leigh Thompson, and Max H Bazerman. 1989. Social utility and decision making in interpersonal contexts. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 57(3): 426-441.

KELLOGG INSIGHT

Explore leading research and ideas

Find articles, podcast episodes, and videos that spark ideas in lifelong learners, and inspire those looking to advance in their careers.
learn more

COURSE CATALOG

Review Courses & Schedules

Access information about specific courses and their schedules by viewing the interactive course scheduler tool.
LEARN MORE

DEGREE PROGRAMS

Discover the path to your goals

Whether you choose our Full-Time, Part-Time or Executive MBA program, you’ll enjoy the same unparalleled education, exceptional faculty and distinctive culture.
learn more

Take Action