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Title: Theory

Theory Experimental Design
  • Part II

FTT Political Science
  • Two generations (although overlap time wise)
  • First testing equilibrium non-equilibrium
    predictions of social choice theory
  • Second testing more applied models, typically
    with greater institutional (political) detail.
  • Mirror evolution of formal models in discipline

First Generation Tests on Elections Committees
Tests of Spatial Voting Models
  • This work is reviewed in
  • McKelvey, Richard D. Peter C. Ordeshook, 1990,
    A Decade of Experimental Research on Spatial
    Models of Elections and Comittees, in James M.
    Enelow Melvin Hinich, eds., Advances in the
    Spatial Theory of Voting, Cambridge Cambridge U.

First Generation Tests on Committee Voting
  • Goal of initial work on committees
  • see extent disequilibrium really happened in
  • Not so easy to avoid equilibrium creating
    conditions not suggested by theory.
  • For example, if subjects know (or suspect)
    experiment has an end or consider time spent as
    costly, may be motivated to agree on a choice.

First Generation Testson Generic Voting Games
  • While fundamental largely become province of
    social choice theorists theoretical side
  • Main emphasis what is necessary get equilibrium,
    considering axioms of social choice theory
  • Social Choice Welfare (both society journal)
    main avenues, mainly normative

Example of Modern First Generation Like
Voting Experiment
  • Voting Games and Computational Complexity,
    Glenn W. Harrison Tanga McDaniel, working paper

Voting Rule Experiment
  • Authors confront Gibbard-Satterthwaite Theorem
    loosely stated only voting rule that is
    strategy proof for all possible preference
    profiles is dictatorial.
  • strategy proof when choices people make under
    voting rule are truthful reflect true
  • Consider an example 3 choices, x, y, z, 3
    types of voters, A (40 voters), B (20 voters),
    C (40 voters)

Example of Strategic Voting
Who will win this election? Not obvious. If
voters A, B, C all voted for their most
preferred choice (truth telling), we use
majority rule, then a tie between x z.
Example of Strategic Voting
But is that what we would want as a society?
Normatively? Condorcet argued that most preferred
choice is one who would Defeat or tie all others
in pairwise (binary) contests.
Example of Strategic Voting
Who is the Condorcet winner? Binary choice
between x y, A votes for x, B C for y, y
wins. Binary choice between y z, A B for y, C
for z, y wins. y is the Condorcet winner.
Example of Strategic Voting
Majority rule is definitely not strategy proof
in fact, normatively we might prefer that
voters strategize positively expect them to
Making Votes Count
Goal of Voting Experiment
  • Harrison McDaniel contend that some voting
    rules may be more difficult (in a computational
    sense) to manipulate than others.
  • They want to test their hypothesis in the lab.

Voting Rule Experiment Goal
  • H M test a voting rule in laboratory they
    believe is
  • Easy to explain to subjects
  • Easy to implement
  • Difficult for subjects to strategically
    manipulate (because of unspecified cognitive

Voting Rule Experiment Goal
  • Theory testing or fact finding?
  • While voting rule is script as in other formal
    theory experimental tests, H M expect something
    not modelling (cognitive limits of subjects) is
    important are fact finding.
  • Also, some policy pre-testing
  • Nevertheless design of experiment is scripted
    by theory

Proposed Voting Rule
  • One voting rule that might be good is to always
    select Condorcet winner in fact this has been
    proven to be strategy proof.

Condorcet Winner Voting Rule
Can voters manipulate this voting rule getting a
more preferred outcome by misrepresenting their
Condorcet Winner Voting Rule
Who is the Condorcet winner now?
Proposed Voting Rule
  • problem Condorcet winner not always exsit.
  • Extension of Condorcet rule by Young find
    non-cyclical ranking with most support of voters.
  • Turns out solution found by solving linear
    programming problem
  • Condorcet Consistent Voting Rule basically
    chooses Condorcet winner if one exists, if not,
    non-cyclical ranking with greatest support.

Condorcet Consistent Voting Rule
Who would win? In this example C voters ranking
would be maximal, note similarity w/ dictatorship
in this example -- but rule not same as
Computation Voting Rule
  • strategic voting under Condorcet Consistent
    voting rule requires complex computations when
    of alternatives is large
  • for n alternatives there are n! non-cyclic
  • Thus while not strategy proof in theory, contend
    behaviorally incentive compatible with truth
    telling (non strategic voting).
  • Point of Experiment is this true?

Inducing Preferences in Voting Experiments
  • Usually money
  • Tell subjects will pay based on which
    alternative, x,y,z is chosen have subjects
  • Can measure extent of strategic voting by
    comparing choices to induced preferences.

Home Grown Preferences
  • Harrison McDaniel use home grown preferences
  • Subjects given list of CDs, grouped in
  • Subjects vote over which category for group, then
    each picks a CD from the list of 10 in category
  • Difficulty how measure strategic voting?

How Measure Strategic Voting?
  • Use control treatment subjects choose CDs
    under a random dictator voting rule
  • But to be sure instruct subjects in this
    treatment only on advantages of telling truth
    non neutral instructions
  • Note importance of random assignment.
  • Are home grown preferences desirable here?

Heterogeneity of Preferences
  • strategic voting harder when preferences of
    voters more heterogeneous.
  • Vary heterogeneity
  • Simple treatment music categories of Jazz/Easy
    Listening, Classical, RB, Rock, CW.
  • Complex treatment music categories of Jazz/Easy
    Listening, Classical, Heavy Metal, Rap, CW.
  • Contend most subjects prefer RB or Rock.

Table 1 Musical Categories CDsCategory A
Jazz/Easy Listening
  • (1) Najee, Share My World
  • (2) Kenny G, Breathless
  • (3) Art Porter, Undercover
  • (4) Russ Freeman the Rippingtons, Sahara
  • (5) Tony Bennet, Unplugged
  • (6) George Howard, A Home Far Away
  • (7) Enigma 2, The Cross of Change
  • (8) Billy Joe Walker, Life is Good
  • (9) Barry Manilow , Singing in the Big Bands
  • (10) Nat King Cole, The Greatest Hits

Category B Classical
  • (1) John Williams the Boston Pops Orchestra,
    It Dont Mean a Thing if it aint got that
  • (2) Vivaldi, The 4 Seasons Gil Shattam Orpheus
    Fritz Kreisler.
  • (3) Mahler, Symphony 5. The New York
    Philharmonic Leonard Bernstein.
  • (4) Yo Yo Ma, The New York Album. Baltimore
    Symphony Orchestra David Zinman.
  • (5) Handel, Messiah Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
    Chamber Chorus Robert Shaw.
  • (6) Cecilia Bartoli, Mozart Portraits Vienna
    Chamber Orchestra György Fischer.
  • (7) Van Clyburn in Moscow. Brahms Rachmaninoff. M
    oscow Philharmonic Orchestra Kiril Konorashin.
  • (8) Kiri, Her Greatest Hits Live London
    Symphony Orchestra Steven Barlow.
  • (9) Tchaikovsky, Nutcracker London Symphony
    Orchestra S ir Charles Mackerras.
  • (10) The Best of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Academy
    of St. Martin-in-the-fields Neville Marriner.

Category C Heavy Metal
  • (1) Pantera, Far Beyond Driven
  • (2) Queensryche, Promised Land
  • (3) Magadeth, Youthanasia
  • (4) Motley Crüe, Motley Crue (featuring
    Hooligans Holiday)
  • (5) Mother Tongue Mother Tongue
  • (6) Obituary, World Demise
  • (7) Jackyl, Push Comes to Shove
  • (8) Alice in Chains, Jar o f Flies
  • (9) Alice Cooper, The Last Temptation
  • (10) Cinderella, Still Climbing

Category D Rap
  • (1) Pete Rock and CL Smooth, The Main
  • (2) Lighter Shade of Brown, Layin in the Cut
  • (3) Craig Mack, Project Funk Da World
  • (4) Ghetto Mafia, Draw the Line
  • (5) Common Sense, Resurrection
  • (6) Stevie B, Funky Melody
  • (7) Salt-n-Pepa, Very Necessary
  • (8) j. Little, Puttin it Down
  • (9) Celly Gel, Heat 4 Yo Azz
  • (10) Hammer, The Funky Headhunter

Category E Country Western
  • (1) Garth Brooks, In Pieces
  • (2) George Ducas, George Ducas
  • (3) Shenandoah, In the Vicinity of the Hearth
  • (4) Chris Ledoux, Haywire
  • (5) Willie Nelson, Healing Hands of Time
  • (6) Vince Gill, When Love Finds You
  • (7) Pam Tillis, Sweethearts Dance
  • (8) Noah Gordon, I Need a Break
  • (9) Rodney Crowell, Let the Picture Paint
  • (10) Ricky Lynn Gregg, Get a Little Closer

Information to Subjects
  • Varied information gave subjects
  • Information Treatment specifics of CC voting
    rule spelled out to subjects examples supplied
  • No Information Treatment subjects only told
    that the social ranking chosen would be the one
    which would most likely receive the support of a
    majority of the voters.
  • Why vary this?
  • Policy Pre-testing . . .

Experimental Design
Results of Voting Rule Experiment
  • Gist found under simple preference profile
    significant difference between rankings in CC
  • No significant difference between rankings in CC
    RD under tough preference profile.
  • Moreover, information matters only in simple
    preference profile experiments.
  • Results support argument that when preferences
    are tough to figure out, CC does elicit truth

First Generation Research Summary
  • Voting Rule Experiment example of an experimental
    test of research from social choice theory
  • like first generation of FTT in political
  • While experiment interesting results important,
    most political scientists not think FTT as in
    political science today.
  • Why?

Impact of Disequilibrium Results on Formal Theory
in Political Science
  • Economists can frequently start from well
    accepted equilibrium models, then do
    comparative statics by standard techniques.
  • Political theory not have well accepted
    equilibrium models to start from.
  • Theory must incorporate details of situation.

Impact of Disequilibrium Results on Formal Theory
in Political Science
  • explicitly model role of
  • information,
  • repetition
  • institutions
  • usually accompanied by increasing use of
    non-cooperative game theory,
  • incomplete information,
  • explicit specification of extensive forms.
  • The New Institutionalism

Impact of Disequilibrium Results on Formal Theory
in Political Science
  • Another trend evolutionary agent based
  • Different view of behavior individuals
    programmed to behave in certain ways only
    change behavior through replacement or imitation
    (e.g. Bendor, Diermeier, Ting)
  • Complex processes literature, etc.
  • Difficult for laboratory experiments long term
    processes of evolution unlikely in single

Experiments on Classic Games Political Science
  • Classic games often building blocks in formal
    work in political science.
  • Example bargaining games ultimatum dictator
    games add together to get Baron/Ferejohn
    legislative bargaining game
  • Example voting turnout like public good/pd

Turnout as Combined Public Good/PD
  • Think of a two candidate election w/ two groups
    of supporters (teams or political parties).
  • Each group member individually decides whether or
    not to vote, paying individualized cost to
  • Group with most voters wins group payoff
    distributed equally to all group members whether
    voted or not.
  • Team turnout game combination of public good game
    (within a team) a prisoners dilemma game
    (between teams).

Turnout Experiment Theory
  • Turnout modelled this way by Palfrey Rosenthal,
    1983, A Strategic Calculus of Voting, Public
    Choice in APSR, 1984.
  • Showed equilibria exist with positive turnout.
  • Model tested experimentally by Schram and
    Sonnemans, International Journal of Game Theory,
  • Good example of ways formal theory testing works
    with more complex game.

Turnout Experiment Design
  • Subjects split into 2 groups of 6 each, labelled
    yellow blue.
  • Each subject had to decide whether to buy an
    imaginary disc.
  • Price of a disc was common knowledge equal for
  • of discs bought by group determined payoffs.
  • Payoffs equal for everyone within a group.
  • Repeated for 20 periods.

Turnout Experiment Design
  • Two payoff schedules, representing winner take
    all (WIN) proportional representation (PR).
  • In WIN, each group member bought most discs
    received payoff of 2.5 Dutch gilders other
    group received zero, ties broken randomly.
  • In PR, payoff was proportional to turnout within
    group of discs bought in ones group was
    divided by total number bought multiplied by
    2.22 Dutch gilders.
  • Price of disc 1 gilder (WIN), 0.75 gilders (PR)

Turnout Experiment Predictions
  • Nash equilibria of games in pure strategies (one
  • In PR, one disc bought by each group.
  • In WIN, 6 discs bought by each group.
  • (turnout theoretically higher in WIN, why?
    relationship prediction)
  • Quasi-symmetric mixed strategy equilibria
  • In PR, all subjects buy a disc with probability
  • In WIN two equilibria
  • All subjects buy with probability 0.051
  • All subjects buy with probability 0.949

Turnout Experiment Results
  • Find comparative static predictions are supported
    (relationship predictions)
  • But point predictions not.
  • Schram Sonnemans in Journal of Economic
    Psychology, 1996 compare analysis with hypotheses
    derived from a model of turnout that incorporates
    group pressure as explanation of turnout.
  • Find some support for group model, although
    experiment not an explicit test of model (since
    designed to test Palfrey/Rosenthal)

FTT Experimental Design
  • Game directly from mechanics of Palfrey/Rosenthal
    model (script).
  • not described to subjects as voting situation
    with candidates as in election (frame).
  • Why?
  • Advantage
  • experiment tests theory of participation
    without baggage subjects may bring about voting
    as an act
  • can serve as baseline results to experiments
    where act is described as voting w/ candidates
  • Disadvantage decreases external validity?
  • Is this deception?

FTT Experimental Design
  • Palfrey/Rosenthal
  • general model without specific values for
    experiment specific values must be set for
    payoffs cost of participation.
  • Experimenters must solve model for equilibrium
    predictions with specific values.
  • Palfrey/Rosenthal model had no PR, only WIN
  • experimenters take model, solved it for
    particular values, plus made modifications to

FTT Experimental Design
  • Unless working with simple formal theory, usually
    modifications/limitations needed in testing a
    formal theory
  • Difficult to truly fit theory as originally
    devised even in laboratory with a lot of control
  • Still often easier than w/o naturally occurring
    data . . .

FTT Experimental Design
  • Probably more difficult to fit theory as script
    for experiment for political science models than
    for economists.
  • Why? more institutional detail, more applied,
    thus more bells whistles to either try to put
    in or simplify.

Fitting Design to Theory Example of Difficulties
  • choice variable often a continuous makes
    solving models easier sometimes necessary for
  • two candidate competition over a unidimensional
    policy space, assume candidates can choose any
    point an infinite choice set.
  • But suppose wanted to test this if tell subject
    choose number between 1 10 tell subject any
    fraction is acceptable, is subject truly
    thinking continuously?

Experiments PTT
Theory Testing Review
  • Psychological or Social Psychological Theories
  • Typically non formal, i.e.
  • assumptions underlying theory stated verbally
  • hypotheses about variables posited.
  • Equilibrium predictions rarely derived.
  • Usually decision-theoretic
  • Focused often on process of choice internal
    process of mind.

Political Psychologists, Social Psychologists
Formal Theory
  • Some political psychology or social psychology
    research involves formal theories.
  • Prospect theory (Kahneman Tversky)
  • Has been subject of political science
  • Quattrone, George A. Amos Tversky, Contrasting
    Rational and Psychological Analyses of Political
    Choice, American Political Science Review 82, 3,
    Sept. 1988, pages 720-36.

Political Psychologists, Social Psychologists
Formal Theory
  • Some involve testing hypotheses loosely derived
    from assumptions behind rational choice based
    formal theories.
  • Often little of both, testing a non formal theory
    based on research from psychology social
    psychology in contrast to hypothesis about
    rational choice implication for situation.

Psychological Social Psychological Theory
Testing Experiments (PTT) in Political Science
  • PTT in political science builds on experimental
    research in psychology social psychology
  • Often application to political science context
    theories arising from psychology social

PTT in Political Science
  • traditional approach of hypothesis testing
    through random assignment, control (baselines),
  • more of a script (I.e. is placed in a political
    context for external validity reasons) than in
    psych, however still usually less of a script
    than FTT.

Example of PPT
  • Taber, Charles Milton Lodge, Motivated
    Skepticism in the Evaluation of Political
    Beliefs, 2000
  • Results from experiments in psychology
    individuals are prone to accept at face value
    evidence that is congruent with prior beliefs
    denigrate or hyper-critically evaluate evidence
    that is contrary to their priors.
  • Taber Lodge evaluate in context of theory of
    political reasoning.

Theory of Motivated Reasoning
  • Assume all reasoning is motivated.
  • Two types of motivation
  • Accuracy Goals seek information to be correct
  • Partisan Goals reason to defend a prior
    (psychology literature calls these directional
  • Continuum, pure rationalist to pure partisan

Three Mechanisms Assumed Underlie Motivated
  • Hot cognition hypothesis social concepts
    evaluated in past affectively charged
    (negatively or positively) confronted with
    concept recall affect feeling.
  • On-line processing every time exposed to
    concept, ones summary affective evaluation
    recalled updated.
  • How do I feel? Heuristic OL tally stored with
    concept is automatically available for future
    information processing.

Experimental Hypotheses
  • Hypothesis 1 a prior attitude effect people
    who feel strongly about an issue, even when
    encouraged to be objective, will evaluate
    supportive arguments as stronger more
    compelling than contrary arguments
  • Hypothesis 2 a disconfirmation bias people
    will spend more time cognitive resources
    denigrating counter arguing attitudinally
    incongruent than congruent arguments.
  • Hypothesis 3 a confirmation bias when free to
    choose information, people will seek out
    confirming over disconfirming information.

Experimental Hypotheses
  • Contend above three hypotheses imply fourth
  • Hypothesis 4 attitude polarization attitudes
    will become more extreme even when confronted
    with a balanced set of pro con arguments.

Two Further Experimental Hypotheses
  • Hypothesis 5 an attitude strength effect those
    with strongest policy attitudes more likely to
    have biases above.
  • Hypothesis 6 a sophistication effect political
    sophisticates, because have greater ammunition to
    counter argue more likely to have biases above.

Experimental Design
  • Subjects recruited from intro political science
    classes given class credit for participation
  • Subjects seated at computers, told participating
    in study of public opinion.
  • Completed two tasks
  • Note subjects told to put feelings aside
    to be objective etc.

Experimental Design First Task
  • Asked attitude questions on of issues including
    gun control or affirmative action, randomly
  • Given chance to practice on information board
    w/ arguments pro con on same issue arguments
    subjects examined time spent on each is
    measured secretly. is this deception?
  • Reevaluated attitudes asked standard
    demographic information measures of political
  • Designed to test confirmation bias.

Experimental Design Second Task
  • Again, asked attitude questions (on gun control
    if assigned affirmative action, vice versa)
  • Asked rate strength of 8 arguments, 4 pro 4
    con, presented in random order.
  • Followed by attitude battery memory recog. task
  • completed thoughts listing task for 2 pro 2 con
  • Designed to test disconfirmation bias.

Experimental Design Misc. Issues
  • Arguments gathered from interest groups.
  • Edited so similar in sentence length, sentences
    per argument, reading level etc.
  • One problem with experimental design where is
    control or baseline experiment?

Results Generally Support Hypotheses
  • Subjects see arguments congruent with beliefs as
    stronger prior attitude effect
  • Effect greater for sophisticated extremists.
  • Subjects took more time to read incongruent
    arguments disconfirmation bias
  • Effect greater for sophisticated extremes
  • When asked thoughts tended to be against
    incongruent arguments
  • Some evidence of polarization (although unclear
    how strong)

Another Example of PTT
  • Huddy, Leonie Nayda Terkildsen, Gender
    Stereotypes and the Perception of Male and Female
    Candidates, American Journal of Political
    Science, 37, 1 (Feb. 1993), 119-147.
  • Research questions do voters use gender
    stereotypes in judging political candidates if
    so what type.
  • Two types of gender stereotyping investigated
  • Gender-trait stereotypes personality traits
    seen as gender linked.
  • Belief-trait stereotypes political outlooks
    seen as gender linked.

Another Example of PTT
  • Trait theory predicts
  • candidates with masculine traits more competent
    on military, crime, defense issues regardless of
  • candidates with feminine traits more competent on
    compassion issues regardless of gender.
  • Belief theory predicts inferences about
    ideology leads to competency ratings
  • Females Liberals more competent on compassion
  • Males Conservatives better on military, crime,

Asked Subjects about Hypothetical Candidates2 by
2 factorial design
Experimental Results
  • Used students at Stony Brook
  • Find more support for gender traits explaining
    evaluations of candidates, some minor support for
    belief stereotypes.

PTT Design v. FTT Design
  • Less script for subjects to follow I.e. told
    somewhat vague slightly false information about
    purpose of experiment (some small deception)
  • instructions not part of paper, almost always
    appendix to FTT experiments.
  • Focus on individual rather than group behavior.
  • No repetition.
  • Choices subjects made (in responding to
    questions, choosing information to look at
    length of time) not related to payment for

Purpose of Scripts in FTT
  • Scripts (instructions) supply descriptions of
    players, action choices, possible payoffs.
  • FTT experimenters ask participants to enact
  • In Schram Sonnemans experiment, subjects told
    would be purchasing a disk, reward to them if
    their group purchased more disks, etc.

Advantages of Scripts
  • Scripts increase replicability
  • Allow researcher to trace sometimes subtle
    influence of institutional details.
  • When experiment is less scripted or not
  • subject guessing what experiment designed to do
    ad-lib introducing lower control over
    variables in experiment.
  • Serious problem if experiment involves complex

Disadvantage of Scripts
  • If keeping subjects ignorant of purpose is
    important, using a script makes deception more
  • If subjects know time spent reading an argument
    is measured etc., behavior may be affected
  • By being less precise about experiments purpose,
    some deception is avoided omitting truth
    different from lying about truth.
  • Thus in simple decision-making experiments
    detailed script may not be necessary harmful.

Do Scripts Make a Difference?
  • Hertwig Ortmann, 2001, Experimental Practices
    in Economics A Methodological Challenge for
    Psychologists, Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • Consider two investigations of hindsight bias
    reviewed by Hertwig Ortmann
  • Camerer, Loewenstein, Weber (1989) The curse
    of knowledge in economic setting An experimental
    analysis. Journal of Political Economy
  • Davies, M. F. (1992) Field dependence and
    hindsight bias Cognitive restructuring and the
    generation of reasons. Journal of Research in
    Personality 2658-74.

Do Scripts Make a Difference?
  • In CLW uninformed group of participants
    guessed future earnings of real companies based
    on information such as previous annual earnings
    per share.
  • An informed group of participants (told actual
    earnings) then traded assets that paid dividends
    equal to earnings predicted by uninformed group.
  • Participants in both groups provided with precise
  • Those in uninformed group given role (script) of
    market analyst faced with task of predicting
    future dividends of various companies.

Do Scripts Make a Difference?
  • Those in informed group assigned role of trader
    knew dividend was determined by uninformed
    groups predictions.
  • Thus, to price assets optimally (and avoid
    hindsight bias), traders had to predict
    prediction of analysts accurately, to ignore
    their knowledge of actual dividends.
  • Eventually, traders traded assets to others in
    actual double-oral auctions, in which buyers
    sellers shouted out bids or offers at which they
    were willing to buy or sell.
  • When a bid and offer matched, a trade took place
    (p. 1236).

Do Scripts Make a Difference?
  • In Davies participants given series of
    assertions asked to rate truth of each,
  • then given feedback (i.e., truth values of
  • later asked to recall original judgment.
  • In contrast to CLR, Davies did not assign
    specific roles to participants or provide them
    with precise script.

Do Scripts Make a Difference?
  • first stage of study, during which participants
    rated assertions for their truth,
  • was described to participants as involving
    evaluation of college students knowledge
    (Davies 1992, p. 61),
  • were told that recollection stage concerned
    peoples ability to remember or recreate a
    previous state of knowledge (Davies 1992, p.

Do Scripts Make a Difference?
  • CLW compared amount of hindsight bias in
    predictions of participants who enacted role of
    trader (i.e., who actually traded assets in
    double-oral auction)
  • to bias in predictions made by another group of
    participants who did not enact role of trader.
  • Goal of two groups same
  • predict average prediction of uninformed group
    given companies actual earnings.

Do Scripts Make a Difference?
  • Both groups received incentives for making
    correct predictions.
  • CLW reported participants in both conditions
    exhibited some hindsight bias,
  • but enactment of trader role reduced bias by
    about half.

Another Example Wason Task
  • Subjects shown 4 cards displaying symbols such as
    T, J, 4, 8
  • are given a conditional rule about cards,
  • such as If there is a T on one side of the card
    antecedent P, then there is a 4 on the other
    side of the card consequent Q.
  • Participants told each card has letter on one
    side number on other.

Another Example Wason Task
  • asked which cards would need to turn over to
    discover whether conditional rule is true or
  • Typical result, replicated many times,
  • few participants (10) give answer prescribed by
    propositional logic T and 8 (P not-Q).

Wason Selection Task
  • Most choose either T (P) alone or T and 4 (P
  • errors seen as reflections of confirmation
    bias, matching bias, availability heuristic.
  • However, putting it in a social context,
    increases percentage of logically correct

Wason Selection Task
  • police officer checking whether people conform to
    certain rules
  • in the context of a drinking age law (If someone
    is drinking beer P, then they must be over 19
    years of age Q),
  • 74 of participants gave the logical P not-Q

Wason Selection Task
  • Gigerenzer and Hug (1992) way social context
    affects reasoning depends on perspective
    participants cued.
  • For instance, rule If an employee works on
    weekend, then that person gets a day off during
    week depend on whether it is seen from
    perspective of an employer or of an employee.
  • Employee role dominant answer was P not-Q
  • Employer role dominant response was not-P Q (61)

Do Scripts Matter?
  • Scripts form of framing matter in experiments
    especially when measuring incidents of biases in
    human decision making.
  • Subjects in Taber Lodge experiment encouraged
    to be unbiased objective.
  • Would it have mattered if they had been told to
    play a role of a political decision maker?

Final Word on Scripts
  • In FTT, do we tell subjects what to do?
  • Try for neutrality how experiment works, role
    to play, but without how to play role.
  • That is, not pointing out their supposedly
    optimal strategy, unless it is purpose of
    experiment (as in Harrison McDaniels random
    dictator treatment).
  • Is there a difference between framing by giving
    context to a role such prompting a subject
    directly to use certain strategies?

Individual v. Group Behavior
  • One reason FTT uses scripts strategic behaviors.
  • Partly reflects difference in research questions
  • Most PTT researchers extremely interested in
    process of mind in making choices, psychological
    mechanics behind choice.

Individual v. Group Behavior
  • Can see in Taber Lodge experiment, emphasis on
    mechanics -- On Line theory, how reasoning
    works, etc.
  • Emphasis on process desire to find what social
    psychologists call mediators or generative
    mechanisms explain how or why manipulated
    treatments have an impact on choice
  • Also desire to find moderators or factors that
    affect likelihood of effects demonstrated in
    experiment similar to fact finding in FTT.

Individual v. Group Behavior
  • Focus of PTT on individual behavior may affect
    results CLWs hindsight experiments may show
    less error than traditional non scripted tests
    because subjects were involved in a game
  • One argument decision-theoretic experiments
    appropriate for studying voters public opinion
    but not appropriate for understanding behavior of
  • Ideally, both levels of analysis are useful.

Role of Repetition
  • Formal theory testers use repetition partly to
    increase data note not all use repetition
    (trust bargaining games often exceptions)
  • However, repetition also
  • Gives chance to adapt to environment, to accrue
    experience with experimental setting procedure
  • Affords opportunity to learn how own choices
    interact with other players.

Role of Repetition
  • Two types of learning during repetition
  • Learning about laboratory environment task
  • Learning about possible strategic aspects of
    decision situation. In fact, in some game
    theoretic situations potential of repeated play
    implies different choices.
  • Vary rarely do studies by psychologists social
    psychologists have repetition learning
  • Hertwig Ortmann estimate only 10 provide any
    feedback for learning to subjects during

Role of Repetition
  • Hertwig Ortmann show repetition significantly
    decreases biases errors
  • found in decision-making experiments, mere
    practice without feedback can improve subjects
  • For example, research on preference reversals
    shows repetition eliminates such reversals.
  • For another example, see Daniel Friedman, Monty
    Halls Three Doors Construction and
    Deconstruction of a Choice Anomaly, American
    Economic Review, 884, 933-946 (Sept. 1998)

Argument Against Repetition
  • Individuals in real world situations not always
    get opportunity for repetition repetition
    decreases external validity of experiment
  • counter argument in real world have sources of
    advice from experienced individuals
  • In many trust game experiments others, often no
  • Key is research question if believe that
    inexperienced subjects important for question,
    then repetition can distort results.

Deception in PTT FTT
  • While our example did not contain a lot of
    deception (more lack of information than outright
    deception) deception is much more common in PTT
    than in FTT.
  • Hertwig Ortmann report deception in
    experimental articles in top ranked journal in
    social psychology, Journal of Personality and
    Social Psychology (JPSP), averages between 31
  • Hardly any FTT experiments have deception (can
    think of only one recent one).

Arguments Against Deception Negative Externality
  • Private benefits gt private costs but social costs
    gt social benefits
  • Hertwig Ortmann Subjects expectation will
    not be deceived (by experimenter) is a common
    good that would be depleted (contaminated)
    quickly if deception was allowed decision left
    to each experimenter.
  • FTT not trust experimenters to make unbiased
    analysis of (private) benefits of deception its
    (public) costs.
  • APA requirement to reveal after makes worse.

Arguments Against Deception Ethics
  • American Psychological Association (APA) ethics
    guidelines (APA 1992, p. 1609) propose to employ
    deception as a last-resort strategy, to be used
    only after careful weighing of benefits costs
  • But frequent use of deception in some areas of
    psychology seems to confirm economists fear.
  • Second argument against deception ethical
    argument which arises from long history of
    questionable experiments (Tuskegee, etc.)

Arguments For Deception Only Way to Measure
Subject Behavior
  • HO If subjects aware of true purpose, might
    respond strategically investigator might lose
    experimental control.
  • For instance, one might expect participants to
    bend over backwards (Kimmel 1996, p. 68) to
    show how accepting they are of members of other
    races if they know that they are participating in
    a study of racial prejudices.

Arguments For Deception Used to Create
Situations Not Natural
  • Deception can be used to produce situations of
    special interest that are unlikely to arise
    naturally (e.g., an emergency situation in which
    bystander effects can be studied).

Arguments For DeceptionSubjects Like It?
  • From HO Smith Richardson (1983 observed that
    subjects in experiments w/ deception reported
    having enjoyed, indeed having benefited from,
    experience more than those in experiments w/o
  • See also Christensen (1988), Aitkenhead Dordoy
    1985 Sharpe et al. 1992).
  • Others have found opposite effect Cook, Bean,
    Calder, Frey, Krovetz Reisman 1970 Epstein,
    Suedfeld Silverstein 1973 Allen 1983 Rubin
    1985 Oliansky 1991 Fisher Fyrberg 1994

Empirical Evidence on Deception
  • Experimental tests of trust games gives some
    evidence on effect of deception on subject
  • Suggest may accept being fooled once, but not
    twice (Dickhaut, Hubbard McCabe 1995).
  • Recent results, Krupat Garonzik (1994), suggest
    prior experience with deception affects subjects
    expectations increases their suspicion (see
    also Epley Huff 1998).

Empirical Evidence on Deception
  • According to Krupat Garonzik (1994), such
    suspicion is likely to introduce "considerable
    random noise" into their responses (p. 219).
  • Stang (1976) percentage of suspicious
    participants (in conformity experiments) tracked
    closely increase in deception through 1960s.

PTT Summary
  • Most PPT work is non formal, tests applications
    of theories experimental results from
    psychology social psychology to political
    science contexts, some deception.
  • Methodology differs from most FTT
  • Less use of scripts
  • Process of individual decision making focused
    rather than choices in strategic situations.
  • Very little repetition of tasks
  • Financial incentives not tied to decision making
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