Reacting to ambiguous messages: An experimental analysis

Christian Kellner, Mark T. Le Quement, Gerhard Riener

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Ambiguous language is ubiquitous and often deliberate. Recent theoretical work (Bose and Renou, 2014; Kellner and Le Quement, 2018; Beauchêne et al., 2019) has shown how language ambiguation can improve outcomes by mitigating conflict of interest. Our experiment finds a significant effect of language ambiguation on subjects who are proficient at Bayesian updating. For ambiguity averse subjects within this population, a significant part of this effect operates via the channel of subjects' desire to reduce ambiguity. For both ambiguity averse and neutral subjects within this population, an additional behavioral channel is also present.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-378
Number of pages19
JournalGames and Economic Behavior
Volume136
Early online date13 Oct 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022

Keywords

  • Ambiguity aversion
  • Communication
  • Laboratory experiment
  • Persuasion

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