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To Deceive or Not to Deceive: The Effect of Deception on Behavior inFuture Laboratory Experiments

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  • Jamison, Julian

    (U of California, Berkeley)

  • Karlan, Dean

    (Yale U)

  • Schechter, Laura

    (U of Wisconsin)

Abstract

Experimental economists believe (and enforce) that researchers should not employ deception in the design of experiments. The rule exists in order to protect a public good: the ability of other researchers to conduct experiments and have participants trust their instructions to be an accurate representation of the game being played. Yet other social sciences, particularly psychology, do not maintain such a rule. We examine whether such a public goods problem exists by purposefully deceiving some participants in one study, and then examining whether the deceived participants behave differently in a subsequent study. We find significant differences in both the selection of individuals who return to play after being deceived as well as (to a lesser extent) the behavior in the subsequent games, thus providing qualified support for the proscription of deception. We discuss policy implications for the maintenance of separate participant pools.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Yale University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 18.

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Date of creation: Jun 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:yaleco:18

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  8. Weimann, Joachim, 1994. "Individual behaviour in a free riding experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 185-200, June.
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  10. Andreas Ortmann & Ralph Hertwig, 2001. "The Costs of Deception: Evidence From Psychology," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp191, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  11. Nicholas Bardsley, 2000. "Control Without Deception: Individual Behaviour in Free-Riding Experiments Revisited," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 215-240, December.
  12. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
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  17. Sheryl Ball & Catherine Eckel & Philip J. Grossman & William Zame, 2001. "Status In Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 161-188, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Griffin, John & Nickerson, David & Wozniak, Abigail, 2012. "Racial differences in inequality aversion: Evidence from real world respondents in the ultimatum game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 600-617.
  2. Filippin, Antonio & Crosetto, Paolo, 2014. "A Reconsideration of Gender Differences in Risk Attitudes," IZA Discussion Papers 8184, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Federica Alberti & Werner Güth, 2012. "Studying deception without deceiving participants: An experiment of deception experiments," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-024, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  4. Michał Krawczyk, 2013. "Delineating deception in experimental economics: Researchers' and subjects' views," Working Papers 2013-11, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
  5. Selim Jürgen Ergun & Teresa García-Muñoz & M.Fernanda Rivas, 2010. "Gender Differences in Economic Experiments," ThE Papers 10/14, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
  6. Anna Conte & M. Vittoria Levati & Chiara Nardi, 2013. "The Role of Emotions on Risk Preferences: An Experimental Analysis," Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-046, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  7. Alderman, Harold & Das, Jishnu & Rao, Vijayendra, 2013. "Conducting ethical economic research: complications from the field," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6446, The World Bank.
  8. Alberti, Federica & Güth, Werner, 2013. "Studying deception without deceiving participants: An experiment of deception experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 196-204.
  9. Arno Riedl, 2009. "Behavioral and Experimental Economics Can Inform Public Policy: Some Thoughts," CESifo Working Paper Series 2902, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Astrid Matthey & Tobias Regner, 2013. "On the independence of history: experience spill-overs between experiments," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 75(3), pages 403-419, September.

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