Week 6 | Revise, Revise, And Revise
This week was pretty light in terms of workload but still extremely crucial.
I spent the majority of my time revising my instructions to be as clear and concise as possible. That means avoiding any bias or phrasing that may intentionally influence a participant to make a certain decision.
It also meant sending my instructions around for fresh pairs of eyes! I’ve been reading them over and over, and I know my game to the smallest detail. Everything makes perfect sense to me of course, but the game might be confusing to a first time reader. So, I got a few of my friends to look over my instructions and point out any questions/misunderstandings they had. Shoutout to them~~
I then revised my instructions with their feedback and with Dr. Wang. It was a pretty long process—moving pieces and bits around, changing the structure of a sentence, switching out conjunctions, editing punctuation, etc.
Here is the newest version that I’ll be using for my testing trials:
“Each one of you have 100 tokens saved in the public account at the beginning of the game. The game will last for 2 minutes. Within the 2 minutes, you are allowed to take any amount of tokens out of the public account or keep it in the account. Tokens taken out are kept by you until the end of the game, where they can be converted into money. Tokens kept in the account receive a multiplier, where the number of tokens in the account are multiplied by 1.2x. These tokens that are kept in the account, including the additional tokens received from the multiplier, can be converted into money at the end of the game.
However, if a total of more than 50 tokens are taken out by the 5 participants, the public account will fail and all tokens kept in the public accounts will disappear. Tokens that were already taken out of the account are safe and can be converted into money. For example, if one participant takes out 35 tokens, another participant takes out 20 tokens, a third participant takes out 5 tokens, and the rest of the participants decide to keep their tokens in the public account, the three people will receive their requested tokens; however, because the sum of the tokens taken out is greater than 50, the tokens that are still in the account will disappear and no one will have access to those tokens.
Even if 50 tokens or less are taken out, there is still a 20% chance that the public account will fail at the end of the game, meaning no one will have access to their tokens that are in the account. You will not know how many tokens other participants have taken out during the game.
All tokens possessed at the end of the game can be converted into money. Each token is equivalent to one cent.”
I also want to mention that I’ve decided to go with the online survey. In-person is more difficult to coordinate and I won’t be able to get a representative pool of participants. I would rather have the conveniency of a virtual experiment, where I can easily send monetary incentives, record responses, and simulate the bank run.
The biggest con is that I won’t be able to answer any questions the participants may have, which is why I’m trying to make the instructions as clear as possible. The other concern I have is timing. I set my game for a duration of two minutes, but there’s no way I can actually enforce that. Even if I set a timer, I can’t predict how long it takes for participants to read the instructions and then spend two minutes making their decision. I’m considering taking that part out entirely but we’ll see.
Some information about how I’ll recruit participants: I’ll be running my experiment on Prolific, which is an online site that allows me to distribute a survey, such as a Google Form, to participants around the world. I can adjust the sample I want and send monetary rewards as well. It’s a pretty nifty site for running my experiment, and I will explore its features a bit more next week.
I will also spend some time next week running preliminary experiments to make sure everything is working in preparation for the actual experiment. Can’t wait!
Until next time,