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On the use of honesty priming task to mitigate hypothetical bias in choice


  • de Magistris, Tiziana
  • Gracia, Azucena
  • Nayga, Rodolfo M., Jr.


We test whether the use of an honesty priming task from the social psychology literature can help mitigate hypothetical bias in stated preference choice experiments (CE). Using a between-sample design, we conducted experiments with five treatments: (1) hypothetical CE without cognitive task, (2) hypothetical CE with cheap talk script, (3) hypothetical CE with neutral priming task, (4) hypothetical CE with honesty priming task, and (5) non-hypothetical CE. Results generally suggest that marginal willingness to pay estimates from treatment 4 where subjects are given honesty priming task before the choice experiment are not statistically different from marginal valuations from treatment 5 where subjects are in a non-hypothetical choice experiment. Values from both these treatments are significantly lower than those from other three hypothetical treatments (treatments 1-3). Using hold out tasks, our results also suggest that one could get higher percentage of correct predictions of participants’ choices in treatments 4 and 5 than in treatments 1-3 and that there is no significant difference in percentage of correct predictions between treatments 4 and 5.

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  • de Magistris, Tiziana & Gracia, Azucena & Nayga, Rodolfo M., Jr., 2012. "On the use of honesty priming task to mitigate hypothetical bias in choice," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 123639, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea12:123639

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    More about this item


    hypothetical bias; cheap talk; priming; Willingness-to-pay; Marketing; Research Methods/ Statistical Methods; C23; D12; Q18;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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