What's in a Frame? On Demand Effects and Trust in Experimental Studies

31 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2007

Date Written: October 2, 2007


In this study we investigate if the wording of experimental studies might generate a demand effect that induces a certain behavioral pattern in lab experiments. In analogy to Falk/Kosfeld (2006) who analyze the impact of control in a dictator game where the principal has the option to set a requested minimum amount to the agent, we conduct three treatments using three different instructions for the same game. Indeed, we find a significant impact of the wording. Instructions can trigger a demand effect that pushes the participants' attention in a certain direction. Hence, we show that experimental results are very sensitive with regard to the instructions and should always be interpreted against the given background.

Keywords: framing, trust, social preferences

JEL Classification: C91, C79

Suggested Citation

Hagemann, Petra, What's in a Frame? On Demand Effects and Trust in Experimental Studies (October 2, 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1024476 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1024476

Petra Hagemann (Contact Author)

University of Cologne ( email )

Cologne, 50923

HOME PAGE: http://www.pwl.uni-koeln.de

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