Social environments can be presented as complex systems that are continually changing their structures in a nonlinear fashion. However, this notion of complexity is commonly disregarded in the study of strategic interactions between competing actors. One of the major reasons for this is the inability to collect sufficient empirical data in order to adequately study decision making under dynamic circumstances. In order to cope with this problem an online simulator module is being developed. This module allows researchers to create interactive simulators that confront human subjects with virtual social environments designed by the researcher. Unlike previous simulator modules, this one provides a high degree of flexibility and imposes fewer restrictions on the simulated environment and the manner in which decisions can be made. Thus, the subjects operating this simulator can pursue multiple policies simultaneously rather than choosing between alternatives. They can make decisions in real time and receive feedbacks also at anytime, including delayed feedbacks. Decisions that are made can alter the environment, resulting in changing payoffs and the policies that are available. It is also possible to provide subjects operating the simulator with different formats for presenting information. Another significant feature is the capability to monitor when choices are made and what information is being analyzed and when it is being observed. In comparison to other simulator modules that have been developed in the past, this one is not based on an old simulation language but is completely newly programmed in a language designed for online interactions.
Kuperman, R.D. (2011), "Experimental Research of Dynamic Strategic Decision Making with the Aid of an Online Simulator Module", Caruso, R. (Ed.) Ethnic Conflict, Civil War and Cost of Conflict (Contributions to Conflict Management, Peace Economics and Development, Vol. 17), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 195-208. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1572-8323(2011)0000017013
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