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Is avatar-to-avatar communication as effective as face-to-face communication? An Ultimatum Game experiment in First and Second Life

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  • Greiner, Ben
  • Caravella, Mary
  • Roth, Alvin E.

Abstract

We report results from an Ultimatum Game experiment with and without pre-play communication, conducted both in a real-world experimental laboratory and in the virtual world Second Life. In the laboratory, we replicate previous results that communication increases offers and agreement rates significantly, and more so for face-to-face communication than for text-chat. In Second Life we detect a level shift to more cooperation when there is no communication, either driven by selection on unobservables or environmental effects. The higher cooperativeness in the virtual world lowers the need for additional communication between avatars in order to achieve efficient outcomes. Consistent with this we are not able to detect an effect of allowing avatar-to-avatar communication.

Suggested Citation

  • Greiner, Ben & Caravella, Mary & Roth, Alvin E., 2014. "Is avatar-to-avatar communication as effective as face-to-face communication? An Ultimatum Game experiment in First and Second Life," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 374-382.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:108:y:2014:i:c:p:374-382
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2014.01.011
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Anna Lou Abatayo & John Lynham & Katerina Sherstyuk, 2018. "Facebook-to-Facebook: online communication and economic cooperation," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(11), pages 762-767, June.
    2. Pawlak, Jacek & Polak, John W. & Sivakumar, Aruna, 2015. "Towards a microeconomic framework for modelling the joint choice of activity–travel behaviour and ICT use," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 92-112.
    3. Innocenti, Alessandro, 2017. "Virtual reality experiments in economics," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 71-77.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Pre-play communication; Ultimatum Game; Virtual world Second Life;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles

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