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Belief Elicitation: A Horse Race among Truth Serums

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  • Trautmann, S.T.
  • Kuilen, G. van de

    (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)

Abstract

In survey studies, probabilistic expectations about uncertain events are typically elicited by asking respondents for their introspective beliefs. If more complex procedures are feasible, beliefs can be elicited by incentive compatible revealed preference mechanisms (“truth serums”). Various mechanisms have been proposed in the literature, which differ in the degree to which they account for respondents’ deviations from expected value maximization. In this paper, we pit non-incentivized introspection against five truth serums, to elicit beliefs in a simple two-player game. We test the internal validity (additivity and predictive power for own behavior), and the external validity (predictive power for other players’ behavior, or accuracy) of each method. We find no differences among the truth serums. Beliefs from incentivized methods are better predictors of subjects’ own behavior compared to introspection. However, introspection performs equally well as the truth serums in terms of accuracy and additivity.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 2011-117.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubcen:2011117

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Web page: http://center.uvt.nl

Related research

Keywords: belief measurement; subjective probability; scoring rules; outcome matching; probability matching; internal validity; external validity;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Armantier, Olivier & Treich, Nicolas, 2010. "Eliciting Beliefs: Proper Scoring Rules, Incentives, Stakes and Hedging," LERNA Working Papers 10.26.332, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
  2. Glenn W. Harrison & Jimmy Martínez-Correa & J. Todd Swarthout, 2012. "Eliciting Subjective Probabilities with Binary Lotteries," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2012-16, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  3. Hyndman, Kyle & Terracol, Antoine & Vaksmann, Jonathan, 2013. "Beliefs and (In)Stability in Normal-Form Games," MPRA Paper 47221, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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