After making someone an offer, should you let them sleep on it?



We show that delaying acceptance decisions in the Ultimatum Game drastically increases acceptance rates of low offers. While in standard treatments without delay less than 20% of low offers are accepted, these numbers increase to around 65-75% as we delay the acceptance decisions by around 10 minutes. Our findings provide precise evidence for familiar notions such as ’sleeping on it’ and show that there may be a good reason why public administrations often communicate bad news on Friday afternoons. They shed new light on recent evidence in Neuroscience on brain activation after receiving bad news and raise questions about the extent to which decisions reveal the preferences of a decision-maker.

Source: “Let me sleep on it: Delay reduces rejection rates in Ultimatum Games” from Maastricht University School of Business and Economics, RM/10/017

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