Experimental economics and deception

Shane Michael Bonetti

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    91 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Several leading experimental economists have independently proposed that deception should be proscribed on methodological grounds as an experimental technique. The basis for this prescription is the assertion that the psychological reaction to suspected manipulation jeopardises experimental control and validity, and contaminates the subject pool. According to this view, honesty is a methodological public good and deception is equivalent to not contributing. This paper reviews the literature on the consequences of the use of deception. It is concluded that there is little evidence to support the argument that deception should be proscribed. It is argued that there are potential gains from deception in data validity and experimental control. These gains are illustrated by examining ultimatum games and public good experiments. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)377-395, 411-414
    Number of pages19
    JournalJournal of Economic Psychology
    Volume19
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 1998

    Keywords

    • experimental economics
    • deception
    • public goods
    • free riding
    • ultimatum
    • PUBLIC-GOODS PROVISION
    • SOCIAL-PSYCHOLOGY
    • GROUP-SIZE
    • DECEIVING OURSELVES
    • FREE RIDE

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