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(Over-)Stylizing experimental findings and theorizing with sweeping generality

  • Werner Güth

    (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena, Germany)

  • Hartmut Kliemt

    (Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, Frankfurt am Main, Germany)

  • M. Vittoria Levatia


    (Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Metodi Matematici, University of Bari, Italy)

Human decision making is a process guided by different and partly competing motivations that can each dominate behavior and lead to different effects depending on strength and circumstances. "Over-stylizing" neglects such competing concerns and context-dependence, although it facilitates the emergence of elaborate general theories. We illustrate by examples from social dilemma experiments and inequality aversion theories that sweeping empirical claims should be avoided.

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Paper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2008-092.

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Date of creation: 09 Dec 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2008-092
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  1. Guth, Werner & Huck, Steffen & Ockenfels, Peter, 1996. "Two-Level Ultimatum Bargaining with Incomplete Information: An Experimental Study," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(436), pages 593-604, May.
  2. Werner Güth & Hartmut Kliemt & M. Vittoria Levati & Geog von Wangenheim, 2006. "On the Co-evolution of Retribution and Trustworthiness: An (Indirect) Evolutionary and Experimental Analysis," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2006-18, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  3. Guth, Werner & Huck, Steffen & Muller, Wieland, 2001. "The Relevance of Equal Splits in Ultimatum Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 161-169, October.
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