An empirical test of a model of relative deprivation by small group experiment

Hiroshi Hamada, Yutaka Maeda

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Using a small group experiment, we examine a model of relative deprivation: the effects of a success proportion and a ratio of cost to benefit on investment action and satisfaction. In this experiment, there is a limited numbers of the success. We firstly derive implications and predictions from the model. Secondary, to test the predictions empirically, we collect data from investment games where 18 subjects simultaneously play on z-Tree networks. We find that, on the one hand, the relationship between a success proportion and a choice of the investment action is consistent with the prediction. On the other hand, it is found that the relationship between a proportion of the relatively deprived and that of the success does not fit the prediction. The results suggest that we should develop a model to explain the empirical findings: persons do not inevitably feel deprived when they fail in a small cost investment.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)19-36
    Number of pages18
    JournalSociological Theory and Methods
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    • Investment game
    • Relative deprivation
    • Small group experiment
    • Z-Tree

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
    • Sociology and Political Science


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