First Advisor

David Gerbing

Term of Graduation

Winter 2021

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Systems Science: Business Administration


Systems Science




Decision making -- Sex differences, Group problem solving -- Sex differences, Personality



Physical Description

1 online resource (vii, 99 pages)


This research investigated group and individual differences in decision-making and problem-solving on workplace representative tasks, and whether certain personality traits correlated with or were predictors of participant strategy. In parallel studies done online (N = 214) and in-person (N = 80) with Portland State University undergraduate School of Business students, performance was measured on two workplace representative tasks under two different difficulty conditions. The Number Place experiment resulted in two major findings: First, when given a comparatively easy task, women had more Time Remaining than men. However, this was moderated by the difficulty condition, such that men had more Time Remaining than women on the comparatively difficult task. This result provided strong evidence that men and women respond differently to additional constraints in accomplishing their task so far as men seem to be more willing to disregard specific instructions and circumvent the prescribed process -- in essence, cheating. After incorporating personality into the model, a Second-Order, Dark Triad specific item construct "The DarkNucleus" emerged from the analysis. The DarkNucleus, congruent with recent findings related to an underlying Dark "D" Factor, was a significant predictor of Incorrect mistakes. Further implications are included in the discussion section with trending results reported in their respective sections of relevancy.


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