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Personality Preferences and Pre-Commitment: Behavioral Explanations in Ultimatum Games

  • Pamela Schmitt


    (United States Naval Academy)

  • Kurtis Swope


    (United States Naval Academy)

  • Robert Shupp

    (Ball State University)

  • Justin Mayer

    (United States Naval Academy)

This paper uses responder pre-commitment and the Jungian theory of mental activity and psychological type, as measured by the widely-used Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), to gain insight into subject behavior in a laboratory ultimatum bargaining experiment. Three experiment design details are noteworthy: (1) one design requires responders to make a nonbinding pre-commitment rejection level prior to seeing the offer, (2) one design requires responders to make a binding pre-commitment rejection level, and (3) one design includes a third person (or “hostage”) who makes no decision, but whose payment depends on the proposal being accepted. In general, we find behavior in our experiment to be consistent with hypotheses based on theoretical underpinnings of the MBTI and its descriptions of psychological type.

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Paper provided by United States Naval Academy Department of Economics in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 6.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:usn:usnawp:6
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  1. Ben-Ner, Avner & Putterman, Louis & Kong, Fanmin & Magan, Dan, 2004. "Reciprocity in a two-part dictator game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 333-352, March.
  2. Caplan, Bryan, 2003. "Stigler-Becker versus Myers-Briggs: why preference-based explanations are scientifically meaningful and empirically important," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 391-405, April.
  3. Ben-Ner, Avner & Kong, Fanmin & Putterman, Louis, 2004. "Share and share alike? Gender-pairing, personality, and cognitive ability as determinants of giving," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 581-589, October.
  4. Eckel, Catherine C & Grossman, Philip J, 2001. "Chivalry and Solidarity in Ultimatum Games," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(2), pages 171-88, April.
  5. Boone, Christophe & De Brabander, Bert & van Witteloostuijn, Arjen, 1999. "The impact of personality on behavior in five Prisoner's Dilemma games," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 343-377, June.
  6. Solnick, Sara J, 2001. "Gender Differences in the Ultimatum Game," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(2), pages 189-200, April.
  7. Stigler, George J & Becker, Gary S, 1977. "De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 76-90, March.
  8. John Kagel & Katherine Wolfe, 2001. "Tests of Fairness Models Based on Equity Considerations in a Three-Person Ultimatum Game," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 203-219, December.
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