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Context and Interpretation in Laboratory Experiments: The Case of Reciprocity

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  • Maria Vittoria Levati

    (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena)

  • Topi Miettinen

    (Aalto School of Economics, Alto)

  • Birendra K. Rai

    ()
    (Monash Univeristy, Clayton)

Abstract

The existing literature acknowledges that a mismatch between the experimenter's and the subjects' models of an experimental task can adversely affect the interpretation of data from laboratory experiments. We discuss why the two common experimental designs (between-subjects and within-subjects) used to conduct experiments may fail to sufficiently account for this concern. An alternative design for laboratory experiments is proposed which may alleviate this concern especially in studies of social preferences. The proposed design is used to answer some questions that have attracted continued attention in the literature on social preferences in general and reciprocity in particular.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2010-090.

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Date of creation: 14 Dec 2010
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Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2010-090

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Keywords: Experimental design; Context; Trust game;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Chaudhuri, Ananish & Paichayontvijit, Tirnud & Shen, Lifeng, 2013. "Gender differences in trust and trustworthiness: Individuals, single sex and mixed sex groups," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 181-194.
  2. Nadine Chlaß & Peter G. Moffatt, 2012. "Giving in Dictator Games - Experimenter Demand Effect or Preference over the Rules of the Game?," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-044, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.

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