Survey participants will be recruited with the use of Dynata, a sampling and data collection company, to conduct an online study. In this study, we plan to examine the effect of different gender labels in a canonical game that is particularly well-suited to study environments with a conflict of interest: the Battle of the Sexes. Two players move simultaneously without the possibility of communication. If both choose option A, player 1 receives 1000 points and player 2 receives 500, while if both choose option B, Player 2 receives 1000 points and player 1 receives 500. If one player chooses option A and the other chooses option B, they both obtain 0 points.
This game entails a conflict of interest because, although each player would ideally like to earn 1000 points, this outcome is not possible for both players. Someone has to give in if the players are to avoid the (0,0) outcome. That is, if they want to earn anything, one of them must accept earning less.
The main objectives are to examine the following:
1) whether participants hold different expectations about the option that will be chosen by the co-player depending on their gender and the co-player ‘s gender
2) whether they make different choices depending on their gender and the co-player’s gender and
3) whether these expectations and choices differ across countries and cultures.
At the beginning of the experiment, all subjects answer a few demographic questions. They are then shown the instruction of the experiment, which consists of a Battle of the Sexes game with no communication. Participants are presented with the options, labelled as Option A and Option B. In the next stage, participants are randomized into six groups.
In the control treatment, subjects receive no information about their co-player’s gender. In the treatment groups, all subjects are told the gender of the opponent, thus creating four subgroups depending on the pair’s gender combinations: MF, MM, FM and FF. Participants are explicitly informed that, after the experiment is over, their choice will be matched with that of a randomly drawn co-player of the specified gender, in order to determine the final payment.
Subjects are required to answer a series of control questions to make sure they understand the incentives of the game. They are given three attempts to correctly reply to the control questions, after which they are excluded from the experiment.
Before making their choice, subjects are asked to guess what the other player is going to choose. This guess is incentivised with a monetary payment. After that, subjects are asked to make their choice between Option A and Option B.
We will test our hypotheses by investigating how choices and expectations differ across genders and whether they depend on the gender of the co-player (in the treatments where this is known). We expect that, in cultures where there is a stronger gender norm of female submission, this will lead to a greater incidence of submissive choices by females and dominant choices by males.