Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Using Personality Questionnaires in Experiments -- Limits and Potentials

Müller, Julia and Schwieren, Christiane (2017): Using Personality Questionnaires in Experiments -- Limits and Potentials.

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Growing interest in using personality variables in economic research has led to the question whether personality as measured by psychology is useful to predict economic behavior. It is undoubted that personality can influence large-scale economic outcomes. Whether personality variables can also be used to understand micro-behavior in economic games is, however, less clear. We discuss the reasons for and against this assumption. In the framework of our own experiment, we test whether and which personality factors are useful in predicting behavior in the Trust Game. We can also use the Trust Game to understand how personality measures fare relatively in predicting behavior when situational constraints are strong or weak. This approach can help economists to better understand what to expect from the inclusion of personality variables in their models and experiments, and where further research might be useful and needed.

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