Money Talks: A Comparison of Economics and Psychology Students

Date
2014-01-15
Authors
Oyama, Elyse
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract
The disciplines of Economics and Psychology share one objective in their experiments: predict real behavior. However, each field has its own method of achieving actual behavior in its participants, which is either through hypothetical or actual monetary incentives. Economists believe that the use of real money gives participants motivation to invest more thought into the experiments rather than make arbitrary decisions. On the other hand, Psychologists generally believe that using money distracts participants. Current literature also shows that there have been marked differences seen between economics and Psychology students. The experimenter utilized the Ultimatum Game with both types of students with the conditions of hypothetical and actual payoffs to see if there were any significant differences in behavior based on students' academic background, the payoff structure, or another factor.
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