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: Suggested Citation