UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Social redistribution of pain and money

Story, GW; Vlaev, I; Metcalfe, RD; Crockett, MJ; Kurth-Nelson, Z; Darzi, A; Dolan, RJ; (2015) Social redistribution of pain and money. Scientific Reports , 5 , Article 15389. 10.1038/srep15389. Green open access

[thumbnail of Social redistribution of pain and money.pdf] Text
Social redistribution of pain and money.pdf

Download (2MB)

Abstract

People show empathic responses to others' pain, yet how they choose to apportion pain between themselves and others is not well understood. To address this question, we observed choices to reapportion social allocations of painful stimuli and, for comparison, also elicited equivalent choices with money. On average people sought to equalize allocations of both pain and money, in a manner which indicated that inequality carried an increasing marginal cost. Preferences for pain were more altruistic than for money, with several participants assigning more than half the pain to themselves. Our data indicate that, given concern for others, the fundamental principle of diminishing marginal utility motivates spreading costs across individuals. A model incorporating this assumption outperformed existing models of social utility in explaining the data. By implementing selected allocations for real, we also found that while inequality per se did not influence pain perception, altruistic behavior had an intrinsic analgesic effect for the recipient.

Type: Article
Title: Social redistribution of pain and money
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/srep15389
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep15389
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1474328
Downloads since deposit
68Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item