This research compares decision making patterns of two groups of subjects engaged in an international conflict against a virtual actor within a computerized simulated environment that operates according to a set of predetermined rules. Subjects assigned to the first group could attempt to improve their status by choosing from a set of different types of policies, such as negotiating an agreement, threatening, mobilizing forces, and use of force. Subjects assigned to the second group also played against a virtual opponent that was programed to behave in an identical manner and produce identical payoffs. However, instead of each policy being labeled with a substantive meaning, policies were categorized in a formal manner as Policies A, B, C, etc. Therefore the only criterion for evaluating a policy was on the basis of outcomes. The results of this experiment reveal that providing a meaning to each policy rather than a formal label influenced policy preferences and impeded the ability of the subjects to learn from experience.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2016 by De Gruyter 2016.
- decision making
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Economics and Econometrics
- Political Science and International Relations
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law