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Effective and efficient experimental instructions

Author

Listed:
  • Bigoni, M.
  • Dragone, D.

Abstract

We treat instructions as an experimental variable to study how their format affects the participants’ comprehension, speed of play, and experimental behavior. We find that, in a public good game, short on-screen instructions requiring forced inputs improve on subjects’ comprehension and familiarity with the experimental task. They also contribute to reduce both decision and waiting times without affecting the overall pattern of contributions.

Suggested Citation

  • Bigoni, M. & Dragone, D., 2012. "Effective and efficient experimental instructions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(2), pages 460-463.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:117:y:2012:i:2:p:460-463
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2012.06.049
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Botelho, Anabela & Harrison, Glenn W. & Pinto, Lígia M. Costa & Rutström, Elisabet E., 2009. "Testing static game theory with dynamic experiments: A case study of public goods," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 253-265.3, September.
    2. Andreoni, James, 1988. "Why free ride? : Strategies and learning in public goods experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 291-304, December.
    3. Simon Gachter & Ernst Fehr, 2000. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 980-994, September.
    4. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
    5. Shane Frederick, 2005. "Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 25-42, Fall.
    6. Croson, Rachel T. A., 1996. "Partners and strangers revisited," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 25-32, October.
    7. Maria Bigoni & Davide Dragone, 2011. "An experiment on experimental instructions," Jena Economic Research Papers 2011-049, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    8. Nikiforakis, Nikos, 2008. "Punishment and counter-punishment in public good games: Can we really govern ourselves," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 91-112, February.
    9. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ghidoni, Riccardo, 2017. "Mistrust and Opposition to Large-Scale Projects : An Experiment on the Role of Uncertainty," Discussion Paper 2017-053, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    2. Riccardo Ghidoni & Matteo Ploner, 2014. "When do the Expectations of Others Matter? An Experiment on Distributional Justice and Guilt Aversion," CEEL Working Papers 1403, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    3. Lisa Bruttel & Irenaeus Wolff, 2018. "Incentives and Random Answers in Post-Experimental Questionnaires," TWI Research Paper Series 110, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
    4. Davide Dragone & Fabio Galeotti & Raimondello Orsini, 2015. "Students, Temporary Workers and Co-Op Workers: An Experimental Investigation on Social Preferences," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(2), pages 1-45, May.
    5. repec:eee:soceco:v:73:y:2018:i:c:p:66-73 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Abhijit Ramalingam & Antonio J. Morales & James M. Walker, 2016. "Variation in experimental instructions: Punishment in public goods games," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 15-22R, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Active participation; Attention; Comprehension; Decision and waiting times;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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