Mine and Yours

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A group of participants tries to divide a piece of paper individually in a fair way. Then they exchange their reasons and strategies. This exercise trains the perception of cultural and individual differences regarding the idea of "individual - collective" and "fair - equal".


[edit] In short:

  • 10-20 persons
  • 1,5 hours
  • paper, scissors

[edit] Introduction

Preface: If there are more than 10 participants, the group should be divided into one experiment-group and one group of observers. The groups get their tasks individually.

The observers are introduced to the game and get the following tasks to observe during the session:

  • Who is the first person to take the initiative?
  • Who is the first to take the scissors? Who gives them to somebody else?
  • Who starts to moderate the discussion? Who decides?
  • How do they understand "fair" and "individual"?
  • Which procedures are suggested?
  • Which arguments are brought up?
  • How do you experience the result?

The experiment-group receives an irregularly cut paper and scissors. Then they get their task, which is repeated clearly three times. Afterwards, the facilitators do not make any other comments or help any more. The task is the following:

"You now have 30 minutes to fairly and individually divide this peace of paper. The peace of paper has to be completely shared out, you are not allowed to have any leftovers and every participant has get no more than one piece. You are only allowed to use the scissors and you are allowed to talk with each other." [15 minutes]

[edit] Carrying out

After 30 minutes the experiment is over, no matter how far the group got. [30 minutes]

[edit] Evaluation

The experiment-group starts to talk about their impressions. Supportive questions could be:

  • Are you satisfied with your piece?
  • Are you satisfied with the way of sharing?
  • What do you think who decided on the way of dividing the paper?

Afterwards, the group of observers talks about their impressions. The evaluation should end with a summary of the different solution finding strategies. [45 minutes]

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