The Impact of a Visual Cheap Talk Script in an Online Choice Experiment

Jade Ellis, Karen L. Delong, Kimberly L. Jensen, Andrew P. Griffith


Hypothetical bias causes willingness to pay (WTP) values to be inaccurate and is a prevalent issue in choice experiments. Research has shown that a “cheap talk” script may reduce hypothetical bias ; however, it is uncertain which cheap talk script format is the best at controlling hypothetical bias . Therefore, we conduct a choice experiment using a between-subjects design in which half of the articipants saw a “visual” cheap talk script and  half saw a “text” cheap talk script prior to the choice sets. Random parameter logit model results indicate hypothetical bias was more prevalent when participants saw the visual cheap talk script compared to the more conventional text cheap talk script. Text learners also appeared to be less prone to hypothetical bias than visual learners.


Cheap talk; willingness to pay; visual and verbal learners

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ISSN 1869-6945


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