A Moment of Science

Do You Have A Poker Face?

Are you a strategic deceiver or a conservative when it comes to making bids?

man and women talking at a table

Photo: thinkpanama (flickr)

Strategic deceivers may make better negotiators.

A lot of thought goes into bargaining says a new study in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers created a game where participants were given the true value of an object on a 1 to 10 scale. Then the participants used this information to make a bid to the seller. The seller also did not know the real value of the object.

The Results

The buyers fell into three groups:

One group was honest with their bids and made low bids related to the direct price of the object.

Another group called “conservatives” made bids slightly related to the true price.

The final group, known as “strategic deceivers,” bid high when the actual price was low and bid low when the actual price was high, collecting large gains.

Brain Activity

Researchers did brain scans of the groups and found that strategic deceivers had different brain activity compared to the other groups.

Strategic deceivers had unique brain activity in the decision-making, goal maintenance, and belief system areas of the brain. It is clear that these types of people have interesting advantages in life when making decisions or negotiating.

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Margaret Aprison

Margaret is a graduate of Indiana University with a degree in Telecommunications and a minor in Psychology. The daughter of two scientists, Margaret has been surrounded by the subject her entire life. She enjoys social media, writing, television, and, of course, science!

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