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생글생글 594호 2018년 5월 14일

생글기자코너

[생글기자 코너] Rebutting on the ambiguous theory called ''the ultimatum game''

William Witt once said “Whatever the subject is, if the word, curiosity is triggered, then catch that moment”. The maxim popped on my head while I was reading my Korean textbook at school. The topic was about ‘The Ultimatum’ which goes against a fundamental idea that defines all human beings behave reasonably only according to their own interests. Having been taught that human beings maximize utility and get satisfaction through minimal costs, I have gotten curious on whether this theory is right or wrong.

On the way of reading my textbook, I found some logical error in this theory. In order to understand my refutation on it, knowing how this game works is essential. According to google, it says that this game works as the first player (the proposer) conditionally receives a sum of money and proposes how to divide the sum between the proposer and the other player. The second player (the responder) chooses to either accept or reject this proposal. If the second player accepts, the money is split according to the proposal. If the second player rejects, neither player receives any money.

The game’s theory itself goes against the idea that human beings always wants to gain money and profit on the point that if the responder rejects money then neither player will receive money. But I have thought differently. Couldn’t ‘deny’ from the responder itself be a better choice for achieving benefit to him? A prestigious philosopher called Thomas Miller(the utilitarian) basically claimed that “happiness can be calculated (as money).” So why not ‘bad feeling’ itself can’t go on the same path as happiness on being measured? So, my point is that the ultimatum game theory couldn’t be taken as a perfect theory that represents an idea that humans always choose based on the profits they could gain. Because for some people rejecting a proposal could also be a personnel satisfaction which is regarded as same value with the money.

김태훈 생글기자(춘천 성수고 2년) kevinkim2001@naver.com

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