Neoclassical economic game theory predicts that a player’s goal is to maximize her income regardless of others. In playing the Ultimatum Game this means that Allocators will allocate the minimum amount and the Responders will accept that amount because something is better than nothing. Economics students behave differently because they self-select into that field already thinking as economists do and while studying economics they adapt their behaviors to economic theory. Therefore it is natural to assume that Economics students will act according to theory and that non-economics students will not. The Smith College study between Art students and Economics students showed that while Economics students are different and less reciprocal than Art students, they do not act parallel to economic theory. Most do not fully adapt to what economic theory predicts because of the following reasons. Learning theories, in which a player acts based on experience from prior games or learned theory, may change how the player reacts. The fairness equilibrium, which says that if both players cooperate then both players are willing to sacrifice something to reward the other player’s cooperative act, could also have a similar effect. The fear of punishment or the will to punish unfair offers also contributes to the absence of economic man. This study suggests that Art students will act less like Homo Economicus than Economics students.
"Are Art Students Nicer than Economics Students? A Discussion of How Economic Game Theory Predicts that Art and Economics Students Differ in Terms of Reciprocity,"
University Avenue Undergraduate Journal of Economics: Vol. 6
, Article 1.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.iwu.edu/uauje/vol6/iss1/1