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Title: Three studies on context-dependent behaviour : valuations, anchoring and coordination
Author: Tufano, Fabio
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2013
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The thesis is framed around three studies that can be seen as testing conjectures about whether contextual factors, which are not part of standard economics models, are sufficiently important determinants of behaviour that they should be included in those models. The three studies also cast some light -on the important ~ but poorly understood - issue of the contextual interplay between individual preference and (non)strategic decision-making. They do so by focussing on market valuations, price-judgement tasks with anchoring exposure and coordination games, respectively. The first study reports a new demonstration that participants in experimental markets adjust their bids towards the price observed in previous market periods when - by design - individuals' values should not be affiliated with the market price. The second study presents new experimental evidence on the effects of arbitrary anchors on economic valuations that fails to replicate the results of an influential study with far reaching economic implications. Through the lens of the provided model, the study offers also insights into the optimal usage of experimental methods and the appropriate use of experimental results. The third study, after introducing a novel technique (due to Cialdini et al., 1997) for measuring 'oneness' (or, in other words, the closeness of the social relations that exist within groups of players), reports the results of experiments investigating the influence of social relations in a weak-link game. While investigating the relevance of 'context' is a connecting theme as well as resorting to experimentation is a common feature of the thesis, the three studies offer also relevant methodological contributions ranging from test-driving psychological tools as far as providing insights into the mechanics of inference and into the function of the economics knowledge system.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available