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Experiments as exhibits and experiments as tests

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  • Robert Sugden

Abstract

Two roles of experiments in behavioural economics are distinguished - experiments as exhibits and experiments as tests of theories. An exhibit is an experimental design which reliably induces a surprising regularity, typically combined with an informal hypothesis about the underlying causal mechanism. 'Deviation theories' - generalisations of received theories which incorporate additional causal mechanisms - are constructed so as to be consistent with known exhibits, and tested in new situations. The paper argues that the principles of good practice are different for the two types of experiment, in part because of a tendency for successful exhibits to be produced by several causal mechanisms.

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File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13501780500086248
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Economic Methodology.

Volume (Year): 12 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 291-302

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jecmet:v:12:y:2005:i:2:p:291-302

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Related research

Keywords: experimental economics; behavioural economics; exhibit;

References

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  1. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1999. "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Munich Reprints in Economics 20650, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Harless, David W & Camerer, Colin F, 1994. "The Predictive Utility of Generalized Expected Utility Theories," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1251-89, November.
  3. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
  4. Loomes, Graham & Starmer, Chris & Sugden, Robert, 1991. "Observing Violations of Transitivity by Experimental Methods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(2), pages 425-39, March.
  5. Hey, John D & Orme, Chris, 1994. "Investigating Generalizations of Expected Utility Theory Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1291-1326, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Fiore, Annamaria, 2009. "Experimental Economics: Some Methodological Notes," MPRA Paper 12498, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Zizzo, Daniel John, 2013. "Claims and confounds in economic experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 186-195.
  3. Francesco Guala & Luigi Mittone, 2008. "Paradigmatic Experiments: the Dictator Game," CEEL Working Papers 0807, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
  4. Croson, Rachel & Gächter, Simon, 2010. "The science of experimental economics," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 122-131, January.
  5. Mathieu Désolé & Stefano Farolfi & Fioravante Patrone & Patrick Rio, 2009. "From Experience to Experiments in South African Water Management: Defining the Framework," Working Papers 09-24, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Dec 2009.

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