Studies from the communication laboratory of the department social psychology and research methodology of the Freie Universitaet Berlin: Distribution and exchange. Primary data.

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Feger, Hubert
Lorenz, Doreen
Czienskowski, Uwe


Dataset Information

Title Studies from the communication laboratory of the department social psychology and research methodology of the Freie Universitaet Berlin: Distribution and exchange. Primary data.
Original Title Untersuchungen des Kommunikationslabors der Abteilung Sozialpsychologie und Forschungsmethoden der Freien Universitt Berlin: Verteilen und Austauschen. Primrdaten.
Citation Feger, H., Lorenz, D., & Czienskowski, U. (2004). Studies from the communication laboratory of the department social psychology and research methodology of the Freie Universitaet Berlin: Distribution and exchange. Primary data. [Translated Title] (Version 1) [Files on CD-ROM]. Trier: Center for Research Data in Psychology: PsychData of the Leibniz Institute for Psychology Information ZPID.
Language of variable documentation German
Responsible for Data Collection Feger, Hubert
Data Collection Completion Date 2001
Dataset Publication 2004
Dataset ID frht01ko26
Study Description The starting point of this study series originates from a study by Flament and Apfelbaum which was published in 1966 in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. They investigated the influence of communication and positive socioaffective neutral values on group structure. Neutral and positive socioaffective values were measured through trading cards that were either marked with a "+" sign or not marked at all. 20 groups of four male participants who had a differing number of positive cards (different resources) at their disposal were examined. The authors found that fixed exchange relationships developed during the exchange processes: The resource-strong coalition favored each other in the course of the experiment while the resource-weak, who tried in vain to disrupt the coalition of the resource strong, also formed a coalition at the end of the experiment. This experiment was a starting point of further investigations. Feger and von Hecker (1998) were able to partially replicate the findings. Later, Biele (1998) examined the continuous distribution of different resource items.
Based on these findings, this study documents the internal exchange behavior within groups. In a computerized experiment, four subjects are placed in a game situation. In each game round, players are required to share a predetermined amount of the allocated start-up capital with a teammate. The aim of the game is to accumulate as large a sum of money as possible in 200 game rounds.
Part of the experimental design is that the allocated start-up capital varies between groups: In Study 8 the allocated start-up capital was the same for all players, while in Study 9 the four players were each assigned a different amount of start-up capital (different resource distribution condition).
The key findings are:
1. The resource-strong subjects were strongly preferred over the resource weak. Trial participants who started out with more resources in the game had significantly more money in the end than did the other two participants who started with fewer resources in the game.
2. The resource-weak replicated the choices of the resource-strong more frequently than the choices of the resource-weak.
3. There was less interaction between the resource-weak subjects then between the resource-weak and the resource-strong. The resource-weak preferred to interact with the resource-strong.
Hypotheses 1. In groups with different initial resources the funds will not be distributed equally.
2. The subjects will apply the principles of reciprocity and choice response.
3. Those with a lot of resources will finish the investigation stronger than those with few resources
Keyphrase group dynamics & resource exchange & transfer of money, 4-person groups, total of 76 college students, 2 empirical studies, primary data
Funding -
Rating -


PSYNDEX Classification and Controlled Terms

Classification Group & Interpersonal Processes
Controlled Terms Social Interaction
Social Processes
Social Behavior
Time Series
Data Collection


Research Method Description

Research Method Description Test Data
Classification of Data Collection Experimental Design, Mixed Design, Laboratory Experiment
Research Instrument Subjects participated in a computer-based game involving a total of 4 players. Each player had a certain amount of money available, part of which had to be passed on to one of the players in each round. The subjects could give this to whom they wanted in the hopes this giving would be reciprocated. The players had contact strictly via the computer network. As the assignment was random, subjects could not identify with whom they were playing.
Experimental conditions varied:
Study 8: Each player received a starting credit of DM 20. In each round, exactly 10 Pfennig was passed to one of the players (different sum not paooisble).
10 groups of 4 players were studied.
Study 9: The 4 players varying starting credits of DM 30 (player M), DM 24(player O), DM 16 (player L, and DM 10 (Player N). In each round, each player must pass exactly 1/200 part of the credit balance to a teammate to. 9 groups of 4 players were studied.
In both groups 200 rounds of the game were played. The money earned was paid out to participants after the experiment.
The assignment of subjects to groups, the positions within each group, and the experimental conditions "equal distribution of resources" vs "unequal distribution of resources" were random.
Data Collection Method Data collection in the presence of an experimenter
-Group Administration
Time Points single measurement
Survey Time Period Study 8: November 28-December 12, 2000
Study 9: February 2-12, 2001
Characteristics -
Population -
Experimental Pool Groups
Sample Convenience sample
Subject Recruitment For the most part students majored in psychology (80%).
The students were given the money "earned" after completion of the experiment, (about DM 20,, depending on the game outcome).
Sample Size 19 groups (=76 individuals)
Return/Drop Out -
Gender Distribution -
Age Distribution 19-25 years
Special Groups College students
Country Germany
Region -
City -
Variables Independent variable:
Experimental condition (equal vs unequal distribution of resources)
Dependent variable:
Exchange behavior (exchange of money between the 4 panelists)
Experiment rounds


Data Status

Data Status Complete Data Set
Original Records Individual processing of records using a computer-based survey (person-related data files)
Transformation The experiment was carried out on a computer. Original recordings of each group of 4 were saved containing exact information about how subjects shared their money. Each of the group-specific data files were transferred to an SPSS structure. The actual amount shared is therein recorded. For both Study 8 and 9 a summarizing data matrix was created that contains the primary data of each of the different condition groups. These data matrices (frht01ko26_pd1.txt for Study 8 and frht01ko26_pd2.txt for Study 9) including the associated codebooks (frht01ko26_kb1.txt for study 8 and frht01ko26_kb2.txt for study 9) is provided.


Description of the Provided Data

Description Primary data, Study 8
File Name frht01ko26_pd1.txt
Data Content 10 groups (total of 40 subjects), 200 rounds, 14 variables
Data Points 10*200*14=28,000 data points
Variables Group (1) Round (1) Money from O to N; yes/no format (1), Money from O to M; yes/no format (1), Money O to L; Amount in DM (1), Money from N to O; Amount in DM (1), Money from N to M; Amount in DM (1), Money from N to L; Amount in DM (1), money from M to O; Amount in DM (1), money from M to N; Amount in DM (1), money from M to L; Amount in DM (1), Money from L to O; Amount in DM (1), Money from L to N; Amount in DM (1), Money from L to M; Amount in DM (1)
MD5 Hash e8bbeb268d04f1bbe9b3543bf09d3a34
Description Primary data, Study 9
File Name frht01ko26_pd2.txt
Data Content 9 groups (total of 36 subjects), 200 rounds, 14 variables
Data Points 9*200*14=25,200 data points
Variables Group (1) Round (1) Money from O to N; yes/no format (1), Money from O to M; yes/no format (1), Money O to L; Amount in DM (1), Money from N to O; Amount in DM (1), Money from N to M; Amount in DM (1), Money from N to L; Amount in DM (1), money from M to O; Amount in DM (1), money from M to N; Amount in DM (1), money from M to L; Amount in DM (1), Money from L to O; Amount in DM (1), Money from L to N; Amount in DM (1), Money from L to M; Amount in DM (1)
MD5 Hash d25b1cc516f878bc308c39b1e59a7480


Description of Additional Materials

Description File Name
German codebook of primary data set (study 8) frht01ko26_kb1.txt
German codebook of primary data set (study 9) frht01ko26_kb2.txt
Participant instruction (study 8) frht01ko26_in1.txt
Participant instructions (study 9) frht01ko26_in2.txt


Further Reading

Further Reading
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Bakeman, R. and Quera, V. (1995). Analyzing Interaction: Sequential Analysis with SDIS & GSEQ. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.
Bavelas, A. (1950). Communication patterns in task-oriented groups. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 22, 725-730.
Biele, G. (1998). Verteilung kontinuierlicher Ressourcen. Diplomarbeit. Psychologie. FU Berlin.
Blau, P. M. (1964). Exchange and Power in Social Life. New York: Wiley.
Bohnet, A. (1999). Finanzwissenschaft. Grundlagen staatlicher Verteilungspolitik. Mnchen: Oldenbourg, 2. Aufl.
Brams, S. J. and Taylor, A. (1996). Fair Division: From cake-cutting to dispute resolution. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.
Coleman, J. (1990). Foundations of Social Theory. Cambridge, MA.: Harvard Univ. Press.
Cox, D. R. and Lewis, P. A. W. (1966/1978). The Statistical Analysis of Series of Events. London: Chapman and Hall.
Deutsch, M. 1985. Distributive Justice. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Dorsch, F. (1982). Psychologisches Wrterbuch. Bern: Huber.Datensatz 3000352
Eid, M. (1995). Modelle der Messung von Personen in Situationen. Weinheim: Beltz.Datensatz 0091434
Elaydi, S. N. (1996). An Introduction to Difference Equations. New York: Springer.
Feger, H. (1987). Netzwerkanalyse in Kleingruppen: Datenarten, Strukturregeln und Strukturmodelle. In F.U. Pappi (Hrsg.): Techniken der empirischen Sozialforschung. Bd. 1: Methoden der Netzwerkanalyse. Mnchen: OIdenbourg.Datensatz 0033575
Feger, H. (1997). Social distribution principles: A formal analysis of short- and long-term effects. Methods of Psychological Research,; ebenfalls in Rost, J. (ed.) 1998. MPR - online; vol. l and II (Vol. II, No. 2, pp. 69-93).Datensatz 0120880
Feger, H. und von Hecker, U. (1998). Reciprocity as an interaction principle. In C. E. Dowling, F.S. Robert, and P. Theuns (eds.): Recent Progress in Mathematical Psychology. Mahwah, N. J.: Erlbaum, chapter 15, pp. 285-309.Datensatz 0130355
Feger, H. und von Hecker, U. (1999). Einbung in Sozialpsychologie. Band I: Die intraindividuelle Perspektive. Lengerich: Pabst Science Publishers.Datensatz 0130818
Flament, C. and Apfelbaum, E. (1966). Elementary processes of communication and structuration in a small group. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 2, 376-386.
Foa, E. B. and Foa, U. G. (1976). Resource theory of social exchange. In J. W. Thibaut, J. T. Spence, R. C. and Carson (eds.): Contemporary Topics in Social Psychology. Morristown, N. J.: General Learning Press, 99-131.
Foa, U. G., Converse, J. Jr., Trnblom, K. Y. and Foa, E. B. (eds.) (1993). Resource Theory. Explorations and Applications. San Diego: Academic Press.
Fowler, H. W. and Fowler, F. G. (eds.) (1959/1983). The Concise Oxford Dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Gentle, J. E. (1985). Monte Carlo methods. In S. Kotz, and N. Johnson (eds.): Encyclopedia of Statistical Sciences. Vol. 5. New York: Wiley, pp. 612-617.
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Hecker, U. v. (1999). Interaktion in Kleingruppen: Soziale Ressourcen als Grundlage interpersonaler Macht. Habilitationsschrift. Freie Univ. Berlin.
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Kulkarni, V. G. (1995). Modeling and Analysis of Stochastic Systems. London: Chapman & Hall.
Lerner, M. J. and Lerner, S. C. (eds.) (1981). The Justice motive in Social Behavior. New York: Plenum Press.
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