Saturday, May 3, 2014

Experiments in this life and second life

Here's an experiment done online, back when Second Life looked like it would be big...

Is avatar-to-avatar communication as effective as face-to-face communication? An Ultimatum Game experiment in First and Second Life, Ben Greiner, Mary Caravella, Alvin E. Roth
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Available online 31 January 2014

Abstract: We report results from an Ultimatum Game experiment with and without pre-play communication, conducted both in a real-world experimental laboratory and in the virtual world Second Life. In the laboratory, we replicate previous results that communication increases offers and agreement rates significantly, and more so for face-to-face communication than for text-chat. In Second Life we detect a level shift to more cooperation when there is no communication, either driven by selection on unobservables or environmental effects. The higher cooperativeness in the virtual world lowers the need for additional communication between avatars in order to achieve efficient outcomes. Consistent with this we are not able to detect an effect of allowing avatar-to-avatar communication

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