You are here:

A Computer Simulation Comparing the Incentive Structures of Dictatorships and Democracies
ARTICLE

,

Journal of Political Science Education Volume 7, Number 2, ISSN 1551-2169

Abstract

The draw of simulations is that by replicating a simplified version of reality they can illustrate the repercussions that individual choices create. Students can play the role of a judge, an ambassador, or a parliamentarian and can experience first hand how their decisions play out. As a discipline, we assume that such practices are an improvement over textbook-based lectures. However, sometimes the difficulty implicit in designing and implementing large-scale or semester-long simulations can be a tangible drawback to their adoption. This article discusses the use of simple, small-scale computer-based simulations or games and argues that they can be used as an uncomplicated way of implementing active learning goals. The authors argue that small-scale simulations can be used as a discreet, one-time game that assists student comprehension of complex theoretical concepts. In order to assess the effectiveness of the simulation, the authors conducted a randomized experiment where participants were assigned to a traditional classroom lecture or a class using a computer game simulation. Student performance was evaluated by a posttest and a delayed posttest. Results show strong evidence that epigrammatic simulations are as effective as traditional classroom lectures in the short run and produce better concept retention in the long run. (Contains 1 figure, 2 tables, and 3 notes.)

Citation

Nishikawa, K.A. & Jaeger, J. (2011). A Computer Simulation Comparing the Incentive Structures of Dictatorships and Democracies. Journal of Political Science Education, 7(2), 135-142. Retrieved February 23, 2020 from .

This record was imported from ERIC on April 19, 2013. [Original Record]

ERIC is sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education.

Copyright for this record is held by the content creator. For more details see ERIC's copyright policy.

Keywords