Does communicating within a team influence individuals’ reasoning and decisions?

Ayala Arad, Kevin P. Grubiak, Stefan P. Penczynski*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years, experimental economics has seen a rise in the collection and analysis of choice-process data, such as team communication transcripts. The main purpose of this paper is to understand whether the collection of team communication data influences how individuals reason and behave as they enter the team deliberation process, i.e. before any communication exchange. Such an influence would imply that team setups have limited validity to speak to individual reasoning processes. Our treatment manipulations allow us to isolate the effects of (1) belonging to a team, (2) actively suggesting an action to the team partner, and (3) justifying the suggestion in a written text to the team partner. Across three different tasks, we find no systematic evidence of changed suggestions and altered individual sophistication due to changes in aspects (1)–(3) of our experimental design. We thus find no threat to said validity of team setups. In addition to investigating how the team setup affects individual behavior before communication, we also investigate the sophistication of decisions after the communication. We find that sophisticated strategies are more persuasive than unsophisticated strategies, especially when communication includes written justifications, thereby explaining why teams are more sophisticated and proving rich communication to be fruitful.

Original languageEnglish
JournalExperimental Economics
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Choice processes
  • Individual reasoning
  • Persuasion
  • Team communication


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