Participants are recruited through Amazon Mechanical Turk to play a guessing game known from the TV-show Family Feud. The participants will guess the five most popular answers to questions such as “Name five things you take on a picnic”. Participants are matched in pairs and paid for each correct answer they, or their partner, give.
Initially, participants have 15 seconds per questions, but they can borrow time from future questions. This has a 100% interest rate, thus each second used takes two seconds from the time budget for future questions. The first player in the pair can further, when their time is exhausted, take time from their partner. The same 100% interest rate applies; each second they spend after their budget is exhausted will reduce the partner’s budget with two seconds.
Participants are randomly assigned to one of four treatments:
Pair x Observable (PO)
Pair x Non-observable (PNO)
Alone x Observable (AO)
Alone x Non-observable (ANO)
The control treatments differ along the dimensions observability and group composition. In all treatments, the first player can take time from the second player with a 100% interest rate. For group composition, the two alternatives are either Pair (P), where there are two players in a sequence, or Alone (A), where the second player is a computer that will score like a real player given the same amount of remaining time. For observability, the two alternatives are either Observable (O) or Non-observable (NO). In the observable treatments, the first player will be told that the second player will be informed about the first players borrowing behavior. The second player will be told about total borrowing in round 1-4 as well as total borrowing in all rounds, and how much time the player has taken from the second player. In the Alone x Observable (AO) treatment, this second player is not in the same pair, but a player who plays the same game after the first player has completed.