Hypothetical and convenience sample biases in value orientations ring games
The social value orientations ring game is often used to identify behavioural types and provide insight regarding choices made by individuals in market or non-market environments. However, research on the impact of providing salient rewards to individuals making choices in the ring game is sparse. As well, the comparison of student and non-student samples with regard to social value orientations is limited. Following literature from other experimental fields, this paper is concerned with the presence of hypothetical bias (i.e. difference between subject behaviour when rewards are not salient (stated intentions) and actual subject behaviour when rewards are salient) and convenience sample bias (i.e. difference in findings of students versus non-student community subjects) in the social value orientation ring game. Looking at the social value orientation measures and their consistency, we find no evidence of hypothetical bias but significant differences when comparing student and community samples. Our findings suggest caution in generalizing value orientation results across different populations while they support the collection of value orientations at lower cost without compromising the consistency of the results.
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