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Erica Havens

Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Shakun Mago

Second Advisor

Dr. Saif Mehkari


I test the effect of ostracism on offering and returning behaviors in two trust games. In the first stage of the trust game, a first mover chooses to transfer a sum to the second mover. In the second stage, the second mover chooses an amount to return to first mover. First, some subjects are ostracized, while others play a series of dictator and trust games. The ostracized subjects are reintroduced as first movers in the first trust game with included subjects. In the second trust game, included subjects play amongst themselves. To induce ostracism, ostracized subjects were physically separated from included subjects based on low scores on a simple math test. The ostracism manipulation was effective, as ostracized subjects reported both a significantly worse mood and higher need threat than those who were included. Ostracism had a notable impact on the ostracized subjects’ gameplay. Ostracized subjects offer less than included subjects in a trust game and offer more to subjects with the highest levels of control. Strategic empathy and reciprocity exhibited by included subjects appears to have no effect on returning behaviors.