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Effective and efficient experimental instructions

  • Bigoni, M.
  • Dragone, D.

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.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165176512003825
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics Letters.

Volume (Year): 117 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 460-463

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:117:y:2012:i:2:p:460-463
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolet

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  1. M. Bigoni & D. Dragone, 2011. "An experiment on experimental instructions," Working Papers wp794, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.e3, September.
  4. David Reiley & John List, 2008. "Field experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00091, The Field Experiments Website.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  8. Shane Frederick, 2005. "Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 25-42, Fall.
  9. Croson, Rachel T. A., 1996. "Partners and strangers revisited," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 25-32, October.
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