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Trust and Trustworthiness in Anonymous Virtual Worlds

Author

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  • Sascha Füllbrunn

    () (Faculty of Economics and Management, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg)

  • Katharina Richwien
  • Abdolkarim Sadrieh

    () (Faculty of Economics and Management, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg)

Abstract

Virtual communities like Second Life represent an economic factor with increasing potential, but may induce behavior that deviates from real world experience. We introduce a new experimental design that is based on the trust game (Berg, Dickhaut, and McCabe 1995), but eliminates the problem of multiple virtual identities. We conduct one treatment of the experiment in the virtual world Second Life and compare the results to the First Life control treatment that we conduct on our university Campus. In Second Life, we find significantly lower investment levels, but significantly higher average returns than in our First Life treatment or in the literature. The lower investments may be due to the fact that the return schedules observed in Second Life are significantly more erratic than in First Life.

Suggested Citation

  • Sascha Füllbrunn & Katharina Richwien & Abdolkarim Sadrieh, 2009. "Trust and Trustworthiness in Anonymous Virtual Worlds," FEMM Working Papers 09033, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:mag:wpaper:09033
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    File URL: http://www.ww.uni-magdeburg.de/fwwdeka/femm/a2009_Dateien/2009_33.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Arjan Verschoor & Paul Mosley, 2004. "The Development Of Trust And Social Capital In Rural Uganda: An Experimental Approach," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 106, Royal Economic Society.
    2. Carter, Michael R. & Castillo, Marco, 2003. "An Experimental Approach to Social Capital in South Africa," Staff Paper Series 448, University of Wisconsin, Agricultural and Applied Economics.
    3. Edward Castronova, 2001. "Virtual Worlds: A First-Hand Account of Market and Society on the Cyberian Frontier," CESifo Working Paper Series 618, CESifo Group Munich.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Lübbe, Ingmar & Bolle, Friedel, 2011. "Who helps whom? Risk taking and solidarity in a virtual world experiment," Discussion Papers 310, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Department of Business Administration and Economics.
    3. Hans-Theo Normann & Till Requate & Israel Waichman, 2014. "Do short-term laboratory experiments provide valid descriptions of long-term economic interactions? A study of Cournot markets," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 17(3), pages 371-390, September.
    4. Christoph Safferling & Aaron Lowen, 2011. "Economics in the Kingdom of Loathing: Analysis of Virtual Market Data," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2011-30, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    5. 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.
    6. Gürerk, Özgür & Bönsch, Andrea & Braun, Lucas & Grund, Christian & Harbring, Christine & Kittsteiner, Thomas & Staffeldt, Andreas, 2014. "Experimental Economics in Virtual Reality," MPRA Paper 62073, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 27 Jan 2015.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    investment game; online community;

    JEL classification:

    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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