• Warrick

What if we get less money and somebody else wins?

1 game that could help us with losing out


Hello fellow Protagonists, Yesterday I posted about mistakes to avoid if we are giving money as a reward. This post follows on from it, about how we can manage a situation when we feel rewards have been given unevenly that involve us.

What if we receive less than somebody else at work? The first question is whether there has been some clear discrimination and if so, this could be challenged more formally in the workplace. I am making a particular reference to when there is no clear discrimination to be seen but the awards still feel unfair and we need to manage our emotions around it. We may be feeling envious or jealous of those who received more . Perhaps management or another department see a huge part of the pie and the scraps are left for the others (us).



When this occurs I remind myself of a game I have played alongside people throughout my career that had a useful learning point attached. Give this a go as you read.

The ultimatum game Imagine there is £100 on a table. You and one other person are sitting either side of that table. The money has been provided by the testing team. Person A (not you) has just one opportunity to offer a deal on how to split the £100 between you both. Once they give a number/percentage they cannot change their mind. Person B (you) cannot persuade Person A. You are not allowed to talk until an offer has been given. At that point you are only allowed to say “yes” or “no”. Once you have made your choice it is final. The catch is that if you agree to the deal the exchange occurs but if you disagree to the deal, you both get nothing! Person A looks at you... “I will give you £10 of it” What is your response – go!



What did you say yes or no? How quick did you respond? If you are like most people who took part in the original study of this game, you would have probably said no to a 10/90 split. So if you did say no you would not be alone. I mean how fair would that be right? They are basically taking advantage of you. They walk away the winner and you the loser, don’t they? I would rather leave with nothing then be taken for a mug. Well what would you have said yes to? £20, £25, £30? Or would you only except a 50/50 share? This is where we would discuss the game in a bit more detail. How likely are you to ever see this person again? How much of that money was yours before you joined the game? Whose money was it in the first place? How might you feel when the dust settles and you now have nothing? You might stick the £10 in your wallet, hold your tongue and forget about it, pop into a shop a couple of days later and remember that you have it. Boom, a free lunch!


I am no accountant but isn't £10 more then £0 You should try it out on two people you know and see what they would offer/accept.

What if we receive the short straw in a gift from a family member? This could be something small, like your sister receiving more money in her Christmas card than you did. It could also be something larger, like your brother getting twice the amount as you in an inheritance settlement. It would be completely understandable to feel a cocktail of negative thoughts and emotions here. The question is how useful that would be for you. Would it change anything? The same concept can be used from the learning of the ultimatum game. Did you still end up with more than you had in the first place? At the end of the day a person of sound mind can do whatever they want with their money, as can you. Even if your family member donated it all to the charity for the preservation of the Yeti crab (please google this). Anybody with hairy arms, this could become your new spirit animal.



Also throw in the mix that we very rarely know the whole picture of other peoples’ decisions and it may be completely justified in their mind.

If we pull the short straw you can still drink with it, you might just have to lean a bit closer to the glass - The Daily Buff 2020


This will end up on Brainyquote one day.

Did you try out the ultimatum game on someone? Has anyone taken on the Yeti crab as their new spirit animal?

GLHF Warrick

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