Performance and Participation Dynamics in an Emergency Response Simulation

Document Type




Publication Date



Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology & Life Sciences

Source Publication

Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences

Source ISSN



This study examined relationships between participation and performance within a team and performance transfer effects between opponents in an Emergency Response (ER) simulation. Classical organizational theories have emphasized the importance of group participation for organizational performance, but there have been few or no attempts to investigate participation-performance relationships in short-interval time series. The experimental task was a Stag Hunt game, as defined in game theory; performance trends would be affected by levels of participation, which in turn should be affected by recent performance experiences that modulate the players’ self-efficacy for the task. Participants were 62 undergraduates who were organized into 11 teams of 3 or 4 members playing an ER board game against one attacker. Time series analyses were conducted through nonlinear regression with exponential structural equations and by linear analyses for comparison. Results showed that performance time series of one opponent did not affect the other for teams of this size. Teams showed higher levels of adaptability compared to attackers, as evidenced by higher Lyapunov exponents. Performance affected group participation levels more so than the other way around. There appeared to be emergent group dynamics occurring between two experimental sessions that moderated the validity of the core linear and nonlinear models. Emergent group properties are one of several possible directions for further investigation within this experimental paradigm. Nonlinear models were more accurate than linear models after correcting for correlated residuals.


Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences, Vol. 21, No. 2 (April 2017): 217-250. Publisher link.