Experimental Economics in Virtual Reality

  • Date:

    Jan 14th, 2016

  • Speaker:

    Özgür Gürerk (RWTH Aachen)

  • More than other disciplines, economics focuses on the evaluation of counterfactual
    scenarios, which help to analyze strategic decisions and their efficiency effects.
    Counterfactuals, however, are not easily observable, not even in field experiments. On the other
    hand, counterfactual scenarios in the conventional lab settings are often perceived as “sterile
    environments” since they are not embedded in a natural frame (Harrison & List, 2004).
    Experiments in immersive virtual environments can help us to test counterfactuals in an exactly
    controlled but more realistic setup. In virtual reality, one could also model settings that would
    be very costly or simply impossible to implement in the field, due to physical restrictions or
    ethical reasons. Here we illustrate, by means of some examples, how experiments in immersive
    virtual environments can add value to experimental economics and benefit economic research.

    You can find the short paper here: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/66617/

    Watch a short clip of an experiment conducted in virtual reality lab “aixCAVE” of the RWTH
    Aachen University: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yt7wEMStOY. The paper of the
    study you can find here: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2676628