The Poker Personality Study

The Poker Personality Study

Scientists Paul Fayngersh (Psychology, Binghamton University 2006) and Mark Kizelshteyn (Social Thought & Analysis, Washington University in St. Louis 2008) conducted a study that will certainly shed some light about the majority of personalities that you’ll find at virtual poker tables. The report, simply titled The Poker Personality Study, summarizes independent research on the part of Fayngersh and Kizelshteyn, is the result of surveys and observation of 73 anonymous online Poker players and the results, while not surprising, are still illuminating.

The pair of researches used five main points to look at their subjects and while they seemed to be equally balanced on neuroticism and the ability to be open to new experiences, the distinct trends appear in the most socially-relevant portions of the study and while it’s easy to see it being true, the fact that online poker players tend to be anti-social is still an unpleasant fact. They tend to be introverted, which is no fault on its own, but “disagreeable” traits appeared often, including high self-interest and general suspicion of others as well as an overall “low conscientiousness,” meaning that they are less disciplined and not driven by success.

The last one is a bit odd, but knowing the number of online poker players out there that don’t shower before sitting down to play, it’s probably very true.

Before you get upset, remember that there’s always outliers in any survey like this and the fact that the game skews to a younger audience means that you’re naturally going to see a less-altruistic personality emerge, but that frequently shifts as players begin to have their own families or simply get tired of the glow of an LCD screen and find that there’s a balance to be had.

Want to read the report for yourself? Visit the poker personality survey website.

The Poker Personality Study


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