Experimentation in the social sciences

  • Theo Offerman


The study of human behavior is an area where economics and psychology overlap. Although both disciplines are concerned with the same human beings, they often have different points of view on how people make choices and the motivation behind it. Psychology has a broader interest in human behavior than economics. It does not limit its scope to human choices in relation to the allocation of scarce resources as economics does. Nevertheless, psychologists and economists often study human behavior in the same research areas. Examples of such research areas are the voluntary provision of public goods and bargaining. This does not necessarily imply that there is always a fruitful exchange of ideas between scholars of the two disciplines in these areas. This first section will sketch some of the differences in theorizing between the two approaches which may have prevented a thorough exchange of ideas. However, it will also point to an important similarity between the two fields which may make an interdisciplinary approach fruitful Finally the relatively recent emergence of the field of experimental economics and its relationship to psychology will be discussed.1


Decision Rule Experimental Economic Public Good Game Methodological Individualism Game Theoretic Model 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Theo Offerman
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Amsterdam, CREEDThe Netherlands

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