Personality, payoff information and behaviour in a two-person bargaining game - PhDData

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Personality, payoff information and behaviour in a two-person bargaining game

The thesis was published by Mack, David, in September 2022, University of Stirling.


Previous studies of the influence of personality on behaviour in experimental games have provided conflicting and inconclusive results. The present investigation was designed to search on a broad front for personality correlates of behaviour in a two-person bargaining game, the one used being a derivation of the Deutsch and Krauss Trucking Game. Five personality tests, covering fifty-three personality traits, were administered to 192 undergraduate students attending courses at The University of Stirling, and from these the experimental groups were randomly chosen, the only constraint being the sex of the subjects. The tests were The Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire, The Guilford/Zimmerman Temperament Survey, The Study of Values Test, The Edwards Personal Preference Schedule, and The Test of Social Insight. The trucking game was played for 30 trials by two groups of subjects, each containing 24 male dyads and 24 female dyads, under two experimental conditions: Condition I, where subjects had access to full information regarding the other’s payoffs, and Condition II, where only incomplete information of the other’s payoffs was available. It was hypothesized that behaviour in the game would be influenced by (i) amount of information available about the payoffs of the other; (ii) sex of the players (comparing single-sexed dyads); and (iii) players’ personality. No differences due to either amount of information available about the other’s payoffs, or sex of the players, were found. An analysis of the data provided by the combined experimental groups, however, successfully located indications of personality effects on behaviour in the game, as measured by total joint payoff summed over 30 trials, total time taken, the number of concessions made to the other player, and first strategy-choice on individual trials. The personality variables concerned were Emotional Stability and Radicalism/Conservatism, (Factors C and Ql of The Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire); Personal Relations, (Factor P of The Guilford/Zimmerman Temperament Survey); Theoretical Value, (T scale of The Study of Values Test); Exhibition, (‘exh’ variable of The Edwards Personal Preference Schedule); and Cooperativeness, (Scale III of The Test of Social Insight). It is suggested that the relationship of these personality variables to game-playing behaviour should be the subject of further investigation.

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