Talking with Strangers OPEN!
  • AUTHOR(S): Anonymous
  • PUBLISHED ON: 2023-01-16

Loneliness is increasingly recognized as an important public health issue, leading to appointments of ministers of loneliness in Japan and UK. It affects both young adults (Ellard, Dennison, and Tuomainen, 2022) and older people. For example, Stress in America 2020 survey finds that 73% of US adults aged 18-23 reported feeling lonely within the last two weeks. Do people value meeting new people and why can't they do it to deal with loneliness? Hypothesis: many people put a significant value on new connections, but establishing new connections might be hard, because any cold matching proposals are disproportionally likely to come from lemons (criminals, social outcasts). This means that most connection attempts with strangers are rejected. The potential experiment would attempt to elicit a monetary estimate of a 10-min meeting with a stranger by using the BDM approach. There are two subjects in the experiment who assume themselves to be strangers. Both receive an endowment of 10 USD. Each subject independently states their secret WTP. One subject of the pair is randomly chosen as a proposer. If the random number chosen for the proposer is above the threshold, the match is made. Matched subjects are invited to spend 10-min in a room or behind a meeting table within a larger room. Treatments: opposite sexes/same sex, online/offline meetings(?).The proposed experimental design eliminates adverse selection, because the probability of a match for a proposer depends only on their own WTP: if your WTP matters, WTP of your match does not.

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