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What does “clean” really mean? The implicit framing of decontextualized experiments

  • Engel, Christoph
  • Rand, David G.

It is standard in experimental economics to use decontextualized designs where payoff structures are presented using neutral language. Here we show that cooperation in such a neutrally framed Prisoner’s Dilemma is equivalent to a PD framed as contributing to a cooperative endeavour. Conversely, there is substantially less cooperation in a PD framed as a competition. We conclude that in a decontextualized context, our participants by default project a cooperative frame onto the payoff structure.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics Letters.

Volume (Year): 122 (2014)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 386-389

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:122:y:2014:i:3:p:386-389
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