Personality and competitiveness: extraversion, agreeableness, and their aspects, predict self-reported competitiveness and competitive bidding in experimental auctions

Matthew Fong, Kun Zhao, Luke D. Smillie

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16 Citations (Scopus)


How are basic personality traits linked with individual differences in competitiveness? We examined extraversion and agreeableness, as well as their lower-level aspects (i.e., assertiveness, enthusiasm; compassion, politeness), in relation to both self-reported competitiveness and competitive bidding within two auction games. Participants (N = 304, 56% female) completed comprehensive assessments of personality and competitiveness, along with two hypothetical auction games (a standard “Winner-Pay” auction, and a riskier “All-Pay” auction). Extraversion positively predicted self-reported competitiveness whereas agreeableness was a negative predictor, and also predicted less competitive auction bidding. At the aspect-level, assertiveness (but not enthusiasm) positively predicted self-reported competitiveness as well as escalation in bidding within both auctions. Compassion (but not politeness) predicted less competitive auction bidding whereas politeness (but not compassion) predicted lower self-reported competitiveness. Future research is needed to determine whether these findings generalise beyond the lab to competitive behaviour as it occurs in the wild.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109907
Number of pages6
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Agreeableness
  • Auctions
  • Big Five Aspects.
  • Competitiveness
  • Extraversion

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