Date of Award


Document Type




First Reader

Dr. Randall Wight

Second Reader

Dr. Randolph Smith

Third Reader

Dr. Robert Hamilton


Human subjects played two computer versions of the Prisoner's Dilemma (Poundstone, 1992). By varying the payoff scales and instructions, one version of the game encouraged competition whereas the other encouraged cooperation. The data were entered into a computer program capable of generating a Sierpinski carpet with strings of random variables. The completion percentage of the resulting carpets indicated the degree to which the game-specific interactions approached chaos. The Sierpinski carpets resulting from the cooperation games showed significantly higher completion percentages than the carpets resulting from the competition games. Because chaotic behavior is unpredictable in the stream of its occurrence, research is needed that identifies psychologically-related chaotic phenomena and the conditions under which chaos occur: This study contributes to both of these goals.



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