"To bluff like a man or fold like a girl?" - Gender biased deceptive behavior in online poker

Jussi Palomäki, Jeff Yan, David Modic, Michael Laakasuo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


    Evolutionary psychology suggests that men are more likely than women to deceive to bolster their status and influence. Also gender perception influences deceptive behavior, which is linked to pervasive gender stereotypes: women are typically viewed as weaker and more gullible than men. We assessed bluffing in an online experiment (N = 502), where participants made decisions to bluff or not in simulated poker tasks against opponents represented by avatars. Participants bluffed on average 6% more frequently at poker tables with femaleonly avatars than at tables with male-only or gender mixed avatars-a highly significant effect in games involving repeated decisions. Nonetheless, participants did not believe the avatar genders affected their decisions. Males bluffed 13% more frequently than females. Unlike most economic games employed exclusively in research contexts, online poker is played for money by tens of millions of people worldwide. Thus, gender effects in bluffing have significant monetary consequences for poker players.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number0157838
    JournalPLoS One
    Issue number7
    Number of pages13
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2016
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Fields of Science

    • 515 Psychology
    • 6162 Cognitive science

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