Classification of natural language messages using a coordination game

Daniel Edward Houser, Erte Xiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


The role of natural language communication in economic exchange has been the focus of substantial experimental analysis. Recently, scholars have taken the important step of investigating whether certain types of communication (e.g., promises) might affect decisions differently than other types of communication. This requires classifying natural language messages. Unfortunately, no broadly-accepted method is available for this purpose. We here describe a coordination game for classification of natural language messages. The game is similar in spirit to the ESP game that has proven successful for the classification of tens of millions of internet images. We compare our approach to self-classification as well as to classifications based on a standard content analysis. We argue that our classification game has advantages over those alternative approaches, and that these advantages might stem from the salient rewards earned by our game s participants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 14
Number of pages14
JournalExperimental Economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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