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2020 Projects

Allocating Costs

Yashmita Yashmita ’22
Major: Psychology

Yashmita Yashmita ’22

Major: Psychology

Research Collaborator: Manjun Li

Faculty Collaborator: John Horner, Psychology

Using three hypothetical scenarios, we assessed how people collaboratively allocated costs among themselves. For instance, in splitting the cost of a taxi ride to different places, how much should the various riders pay? Previous studies had shown that cohorts are generally concerned with splitting costs equally among members, rather than in trying to minimize their own costs. Hence, various issues of fairness are paramount in their considerations. We gathered cohorts of three over a video conference platform and provided them with three scenarios to see how they would allocate their costs and the rationale they would use in their allocations. We then developed a way to analyze their deliberations to quantify how individuals in cohorts discussed how to allocate costs amongst themselves. We found that subjects came up with multiple different allocation strategies and rationales for the fair distribution of costs. However, a number of trend in what people considered fair emerged.

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