Crazy Fruits – Decision-Making in Unusual Situations

Last registered on June 27, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Crazy Fruits – Decision-Making in Unusual Situations
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0009658
Initial registration date
June 26, 2022

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
June 27, 2022, 4:49 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
KU Eichstaett-Ingolstadt

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Institute for Employment Research

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2022-06-27
End date
2023-06-30
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
We use slot machine games to study economic decision-making in complex high-uncertainty environments. We investigate the role of playful-exploratory and / or belief-based approaches to the game that may lead to suboptimal strategy choices compared to a situation where decision-makers play according to the Bayesian multi-armed bandit model. We explain this by a proposed model of expected-utility-maximizing agents choosing between a rational Bayesian and a curiosity-driven perspective.
A set of treatments capture and disentangle this deliberate rationality-curiosity trade-off: By changing key game features, such as the stakes, we change the opportunity cost of non-expected-utility-maximizing behavior. By offering additional, albeit payoff-neutral, choices, we allow players to engage in non-standard behaviors while playing according to the payoff-maximizing strategy at the same time.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Hartinger, Katharina and Alexander Patt. 2022. "Crazy Fruits – Decision-Making in Unusual Situations." AEA RCT Registry. June 27. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.9658
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Treatments affect game features and the scope of in-game choices for the respective groups.
Intervention Start Date
2022-06-27
Intervention End Date
2023-06-30

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Fit of the multi-armed bandit model vs. our proposed model; player strategy (and in-game choices for T2) in relation to expected payoff, level of entropy, and special game situations (e.g., jackpot)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Beliefs about & attitudes towards the game; decision time & effort; relationship between in-game behavior and investment behavior
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We design a game that resembles a casino slot machine ("one-armed bandit" / "fruit machine"). Subjects play for a fixed number of rounds and can choose (and switch, at a cost) between games. Participation is incentivized. No deception.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in lab by a computer
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
300 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
300 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
100 T1, 100 T2, 100 control
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Ethics Committee of the Catholic University of Eichstaett-Ingolstadt
IRB Approval Date
2021-05-07
IRB Approval Number
N/A