Laboratory Experiments

Key focus of laboratory experiments

  • Emotional agency and happiness
  • Peer-induced fairness in business-to-business pricing contracting
  • Strategic transmission of performance feedback
  • Adaptive and sophisticated learning

Ongoing research projects

  • Management of emotions and perceptions in interaction
    This research project examines how people manage emotions and perceptions in social interactions. Different types of social interactions are examined, such as feedback giving and receiving, decision delegation, and gift exchange. For example, in the feedback giving context, we examine how people, who are in the position to provide feedback, manage the feedback recipients’ emotions through the feedback they give. In the scenario where people have to delegate their decision rights to others, we examine the perceptions that may affect their delegation decision. In the gift exchange context, we examine how the gift recipients reciprocate the gift-givers’ kindness by working hard in a challenging task.
  • Resilience to cyber attacks
    In this upcoming project, we will design interventions that will make people resilient to cyber-attacks such as phishing. The project is still in the early stages.


Field Experiments

Key objectives of field experiments

  • Improve rate of diabetes screening among mature people
  • Change energy consumption habits
  • Provide incentives to increase intention to participate in training program and complete more courses
    1. Workforce Development Agency (WDA)

      The Singapore WDA offers a Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) training program to upgrade skills in the retail and service sectors for interested individuals. A wide range of modules covering different topics are offered at a very affordable price ($41 per course), thanks to significant government subsidy. Despite the attractiveness of the WSQ program, a majority of participants did not complete their coursework. A field experiment is designed to investigate how direct incentives can encourage people to take and complete the courses. The experiment consists of two parts. First, there will be two forms of incentives: one can choose to either receive a cash reward of $82 after he has completed two courses and passed the assessments, or take the courses free of charge. We test whether these two forms of incentives differ in terms of encouraging individuals to take more courses. Second, we offer two forms of sign-up: the committed sign-up condition in which participants are required to indicate their desired courses and stick to a fixed schedule, and the flexi sign-up condition in which participants can take their time to think about their desired courses and when they wish to take them. The purpose of this is to test whether these sign-up methods affect actual completion of the course.

      As such, participants will be placed in 1 of the 4 groups;

      • Cash reward and the committed sign-up condition
      • Cash reward and a flexi sign-up condition
      • Free courses and the committed sign-up condition
      • Free courses and the flexi sign-up condition

      There will also be a fifth group of participants who have to pay full fees and stick to the schedule determined by Singapore WDA. The number of participants in each group will be measured and compared to evaluate the effectiveness of the incentives. This will allow us to examine whether the incentives provided for taking two courses can motivate individuals to take additional modules and complete the program.

    2. The role of soft commitment mechanism in reducing school children’s shower time

      A large scale randomized control trial that aims to reduce shower time among school children using soft commitment mechanisms. This project will aid understanding on how non-monetary interventions can be used to nudge people to adopt environmentally friendly behaviour. The data collection will begin in March 2017.

    3. Role of monetary incentives and habit formation in fostering environmentally friendly behavior

      In this project, we will conduct a randomized control trial to explore the role of monetary incentives in inducing sustainable increase in the air-con temperature of a household. The project will enable understanding of the optimal incentive-goal design that will foster formation of an environmentally friendly habit (adaptation to higher air-con temperature). The project will also allow testing theoretical habit formation models. The pilot (n=55) has been conducted and the main data collection will begin in February 2017.