Imitation and luck: An experimental study on social sampling

Theo Offerman, Andrew Schotter

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    In this paper, we present the results of two experiments on social sampling, where people make a risky decision after they have sampled the behavior of others who have done exactly the same problem before them. In an individual decision making problem as well as in the takeover game, the simple behavioral rule of imitating the best appears to be a robust description of behavior despite the fact that it is not optimal in any of the experimental tasks. Social sampling makes people look more risk seeking than the people who do not have the opportunity to sample.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)461-502
    Number of pages42
    JournalGames and Economic Behavior
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Mar 2009


    • Experiment
    • Risk
    • Social learning

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Finance
    • Economics and Econometrics


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