Last Modified: $Date: 2000/01/16 16:46:53 $
$Revision: 1.8 $

Information regarding questionnaire distributed Autumn 1999

If you are viewing this page, you have probably been referred here by the cover-sheet of a questionnaire I, Lívia Markóczy, have been distributing and testing in late 1999.

Unfortunately, I must remain deliberately vague about it at this point. If people completing the questionnaire knew exactly what I was looking for and expected it might influence their responses, either by biasing people to respond in the way expected, or by provoking some people to "show their individualness" by responding counter to what is expect. To some extent, what I am looking for (or at least looking at) should be clear simply by reading the questionnaire. Much of its design is not particularly subtle.

Update: [Sun Jan 16 08:42:37 PST 2000] A draft of a paper describing the project is now available. The draft is by me, Lívia Markóczy, and Jeffrey Goldberg. It will be changing frequently as I work on it. Slides and notes for academic presentation of the study should be here shortly.

Some hints

Part three of the questionnaire "what played a role in your thinking" is a questionnaire under development. Speaking broadly, there are good theoretical reasons - as well as common sense reasons - to believe that people's thinking about problems like the dilemma presented can vary according to a number of dimensions. Some people may base their thinking heavily on what sort of influence they might have on the group. Others might be thinking about how they are perceived by others.

When I put the questionnaire together, I started with eleven different possible categories, knowing full well that after statistical analysis many of those categories would not show up reliably, and that several would be combined. Indeed, this is exactly what happened. After looking at more than 150 responses (mostly from Cranfield Full Time MBA students), I have six clear "types of thinking" about these sorts of dilemmas. Four of these six were the ones that I was most confident about initially, and have the strongest theoretical motivation. One of the others is a combination of two other well motivated types.

Again, I am aware that I am being unfortunately vague. It would give you a better sense of what I was talking about if I could give a list of the types and a very brief discussion of them. Unfortunately, at this time I can't be more specific. After more analysis is completed, I will be. Additionally, some of what I am doing will be discussed in my Management Judgment and Decision-making elective.

More work

It should also be noted that the six types of thinking about these dilemmas do not correspond to six types of people. A person will always use some combination of the types of thinking, and will very rarely just rely on just one type. But one of my broader claims (for which much more work needs to be done) is that someone who relies on, say type 3 thinking for one case is likely to rely on it for others as well.

Other things that need to be tested, once the questionnaire is fully formed, is whether the types and responses correspond to real behaviour in real situations where people are faced with real dilemmas. If the theory of the reasoning types is only confirmed on paper, it is not worth much. Indeed, during the week of 22 November, you will be given a much shorter questionnaire which will begin to help resolve this question. A PDF version of that questionnaire is available.

Response to part IV of the questionnaire have already been shown by other researches to correspond to certain sorts of cooperative decisions in practice. As a quick and imperfect test of Part III, I can look at the relationship between the Part III responses and the Part IV responses. At this point it is far too early to tell. This is because, as expected, Part III requires a great deal of revision before it can be fully useful. (At this point, it looks like half of the questions will be dropped.) This is absolutely normal practice in developing a questionnaire to measure these sorts of things.

Data and Results

As mentioned above, revealing exactly the constructs that I am looking for can bias the results, so I can't make the details public while I am still collecting data. However, I will make completely anononymized results and data available both for participants and other scholars.

Making as much of the information public as possible (without impairing privacy) helps ensure that those of you who participate in such studies can see the maximum use made of your participation. Other scholars will not have to start from scratch, but can build upon your contribution.

By making the anononymized data public, I also help ensure that my interpretation of the data is not misleading or biased. Other scholars can check my work, reducing the chances of something being overlooked or lasting blunders in the analysis.

Contacting me

I am best reached by Email:, but can also be reached on extension 3757 or a message can be placed in my mailbox in building 111. If you wish to email me anonymously about this study, see information at André Bacard's Internet Privacy Pages about anonymous remailers. Additionally, my PGP public key is available from my home page if you wish to send me encrypted email using PGP.

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