Integrating Machine Behavior into Human Subject Experiments: A User-Friendly Toolkit and Illustrations

46 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2024

See all articles by Christoph Engel

Christoph Engel

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods; University of Bonn - Faculty of Law & Economics; Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics, Students; Universität Osnabrück - Faculty of Law

Max R. P. Grossmann

University of Cologne

Axel Ockenfels

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods; University of Cologne - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 3, 2024

Abstract

Large Language Models (LLMs) have the potential to profoundly transform and enrich experimental economic research. We propose a new software framework, “alter_ego”, which makes it easy to design experiments between LLMs and to integrate LLMs into oTree-based experiments with human subjects. Our toolkit is freely available at github.com/mrpg/ego. To illustrate, we run differently framed prisoner’s dilemmas with interacting machines as well as with human-machine interaction. Framing effects in machine-only treatments are strong and similar to those expected from previous human-only experiments, yet less pronounced and qualitatively different if machines interact with human participants.

Keywords: Software for experiments, large language models, human-machine interaction, framing

JEL Classification: C91, C92, D91, O33, L86

Suggested Citation

Engel, Christoph and Grossmann, Max R. P. and Ockenfels, Axel, Integrating Machine Behavior into Human Subject Experiments: A User-Friendly Toolkit and Illustrations (January 3, 2024). MPI Collective Goods Discussion Paper, No. 2024/1, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4682602

Christoph Engel (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
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Germany
+049 228 914160 (Phone)
+049 228 9141655 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.coll.mpg.de/engel.html

University of Bonn - Faculty of Law & Economics

Postfach 2220
D-53012 Bonn
Germany

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics, Students ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
PO Box 1738
Rotterdam
Netherlands

Universität Osnabrück - Faculty of Law

Osnabruck, D-49069
Germany

Max R. P. Grossmann

University of Cologne

Albertus-Magnus-Platz
Cologne, 50923
Germany

Axel Ockenfels

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

University of Cologne - Department of Economics ( email )

Albertus Magnus Platz
Cologne 50923
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://ockenfels.uni-koeln.de/

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