The Role of Character Strengths in Economic Decision-Making

Jordan, M. R., & Rand, D. G. (2018). The Role of Character Strengths in Economic Decision-Making. Judgment and Decision making 13 (4), 382-392.

11 Pages Posted: 14 May 2018 Last revised: 4 Aug 2018

See all articles by Matthew Jordan

Matthew Jordan

Yale University

David G. Rand

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Date Written: April 30, 2018

Abstract

We aggregated data from 28 studies (total N=13,386) to assess the relationship between individual differences in character strengths, as described by the VIA model of character, and economically-relevant behaviors and cognition. Factor analyzing the character strength inventory responses revealed four factors – Caring, Leadership, Inquisitiveness, and Self-control – each of which correlated with a variety of measures. Caring was associated with the willingness to pay costs to benefit others, as well as reliance on intuitive decision-making; Leadership was associated with inefficient, anti-social behaviors, risk taking, and trusting one’s intuitions while also liking to reason; Inquisitiveness was associated with efficient behaviors in both the social and risk domains, and reliance on deliberative decision-making; and Self-control was associated with delaying gratification, risk aversion, and a reliance on reason. These results help shed light on the relationship between character – and personality more generally – and economic behaviors. In doing so, we give some indication of which types of people will be most successful in which decision-making contexts.

Keywords: personality, economic games, uncertainty, intertemporal choice, cognitive style

Suggested Citation

Jordan, Matthew and Rand, David G., The Role of Character Strengths in Economic Decision-Making (April 30, 2018). Jordan, M. R., & Rand, D. G. (2018). The Role of Character Strengths in Economic Decision-Making. Judgment and Decision making 13 (4), 382-392.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3171194 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3171194

Matthew Jordan (Contact Author)

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

David G. Rand

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.daverand.org

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