Habitual Communication

Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 2022-016/I

49 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2022

See all articles by Konstantinos Ioannidis

Konstantinos Ioannidis

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB); Tinbergen Institute; University of Amsterdam - Center for Research in Experimental Economics and Political Decision-Making (CREED)

Date Written: February 23, 2022

Abstract

Many everyday activities are habitual. Among the most common human activities is communication. If people primarily communicate in a common-interests environment, they may form habits of truth-telling and believing messages. If they primarily communicate in a conflicting-interests environment, they may form habits of lying and mistrusting mes- sages. We provide experimental evidence that habits affect strategic communication in an unfamiliar environment. Additionally, we contrast two mechanisms through which habits operate, preference formation and inattention. By varying the frequency of communicating in the unfamiliar environment, we find an effect only when the unfamiliar environment oc- curs rarely. Our results favor inattention as preference formation would predict an effect irrespective of the frequency of the new environment. Analysis of individual decisions sheds further light on the mechanisms. Our findings highlight the importance of accounting for habits, especially when studying human behavior in infrequent situations.

Keywords: Habits, Strategic information transmission, Communication, Experiment

JEL Classification: D91, C92, D01, D83

Suggested Citation

Ioannidis, Konstantinos, Habitual Communication (February 23, 2022). Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 2022-016/I, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4041959 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4041959

Konstantinos Ioannidis (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) ( email )

Roetersstraat 11
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Tinbergen Institute ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

University of Amsterdam - Center for Research in Experimental Economics and Political Decision-Making (CREED) ( email )

Faculty of Economics and Econometrics
Roetersstraat 11
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

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