The Stereotype Content Model (SCM) proposes that perceived Warmth (W) and Competence (C) influence stereotypes towards others. Here, we assessed the role of these dimensions in modulating intergroup biases during economic interactions. To this aim, we tested forty-four Italian participants in the role of investor/allocator in the Trust Game (TG) and the Ultimatum Game (UG) with players they believed to be Greeks (stereotyped as high W), Germans (stereotyped as high C) or Italians (in-group). The results show that in the TG participants invested less on the Greek players respect to the Italian and German ones, suggesting an effect of perceived social status on trust decisions. In the UG, participants made less fair offers to the out-group (Germans and Greeks) respect to the in-group members (Italians). RTs analysis shows that this effect was not due to a generic in-group/out-group effect. Indeed, when facing an out-group member, participants were significantly faster in proposing fair splits to the high status than to the low status group. Finally, we ran a factor analysis on political orientation, SVO, MACH-IV, RWA, SDO and SJT ratings and found that authoritarianism and social dominance were the emergent factors. Importantly, while authoritarianism played a role in the UG, favoring Italians and Germans, in the TG social dominance negatively correlated with the trust towards in-group and high status out-group members. The results suggest that distinct motivational mechanisms underlie social decisions concerning fairness and trust.
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