Risk preferences, responsibility, and self-monitoring in a Stag Hunt

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Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics

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Previous experimental research suggests that people often switch their strategy in games of uncertainty when faced with responsibility over another individual's outcomes. We extend this literature by assessing which personal traits may lead to changes in decisions. Specifically, we investigate how risk preferences and self-monitoring are related to decision changes in the Stag Hunt game under different levels of responsibility. As expected, we find that risk-averse individuals tend to make riskier choices less often than risk-loving individuals do in a series of economic games. Having responsibility for another player in the Stag Hunt seems to amplify risk attitudes as risk-averse individuals are more likely to make cautious choices and risk loving participants are more likely to make risky choices with responsibility than without it. High self-monitors are more likely to switch their strategy than low self-monitors when faced with responsibility over another's outcomes, and when they change strategies they tend to change in a manner consistent with their own preferences for risk.