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Surveying or gaming: How to best measure socio-economic behaviors and attitudes?

Coordinator 1Mr Jakob Jonathan Kemper (University of Duisburg-Essen)
Coordinator 2Dr Jan Karem Höhne (University of Duisburg-Essen)
Coordinator 3Professor Achim Goerres (University of Duisburg-Essen)

Session Details

People’s socio-economic behaviors and attitudes are of key interest in a variety of scientific disciplines, including, but not limited to, social, political, psychological, and economic research. These disciplines partially differ with respect to their measurement methods. On the one hand, there are many researchers that rely on indirect behavioral and attitudinal measures from large-scale sample surveys. On the other hand, there are also many researchers that rely on more direct measures from behavioral games, such as the dictator, solidarity, and trust games, that are commonly conducted in labs with small convenience samples. Considering the eminent literature, there is some conventional wisdom about the merits and limits of both measurement methods. For example, survey measures are frequently criticized for their hypothetical touch and that they do not decently mirror people’s real socio-economic behaviors and attitudes. Behavioral games, in contrast, are frequently criticized for their artificial settings and samples, which impedes drawing conclusions beyond the studies. Despite this conventional wisdom, there is only a small body of research investigating and evaluating the soundness of both measurement methods. In this session, we therefore invite scientific contributions that present experimental and/or non-experimental research on measuring socio-economic behaviors and attitudes in a variety of research settings (e.g., lab or field) and modes (e.g., in-person or online). We also welcome mixed-method contributions that, for example, combine surveys and games to improve the measurement of socio-economic behaviors and attitudes.