ICES Experimental Economics Brown Bag Lecture

Is It What You Say, or How You Say It? An Experimental Investigation of Communication Messages

Thursday, April 8, 2021 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Online Location, Zoom Meeting

ICES Experimental Economics Brown Bag Lecture

The Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science (ICES) presents an ICES Brown Bag Lecture featuring:

Siyu Wang

Wichita State University

Is It What You Say, or How You Say It? An Experimental Investigation of Communication Messages

 

Please contact ICES Office Manager (sbahabib@gmu.edu) for Zoom link.

 

Abstract

Prior studies have shown that free-form communication facilitates cooperation more than restricted-form. We investigated the reasons behind it by comparing different formats of messages in a sequential game where the buyer sets the price and then the seller determines the quality of the product. Before any decision is made, the seller could send the buyer a promise, a threat, a free-form message, or alternatively a message chosen from a previously constructed free-form talk. We find that: (i) while a threat is ineffective compared to the baseline, a promise significantly promotes cooperation; (ii) a free-form message further improves cooperation, but a selection from free-form messages is only as effective as a promise; (iii) the notion of promise and honesty is frequently raised in free-form messages and such a message enhances cooperation; (iv) these two notions are more effective in fostering cooperation when they are constructed by the senders as opposed to being chosen by the senders. Our results indicate that the intention behind constructing the message rather than the richness of the message drives the improvement from restricted-form to free-form.

 

For more information about the Brown Bag Lectures, please visit the Brown Bag Schedule homepage.

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