Experimental Economics takes questions that economists ask and theoretical explanations that they develop to the laboratory for a careful empirical analysis. In a typical experiment, we directly observe how people (participants) make decisions in specific conflict situations. For example, how they bargain about some jointly earned profits, how they buy and sell risky assets in markets, or whether they are willing to cooperate with each other when freeriding is more profitable.
I firmly believe that serious economic analysis should rely both on theoretical and empirical considerations. For that reason, especially in my seminars, but also when I teach game theory, I try to offer a balanced view to students by complementing theoretical models with their empirical test, and by organizing empirical findings with the help of theoretical models.
I would like my students to learn and understand how economics and economists look at the world around us. At the same time, I expect students to be aware of the limitations and the underlying assumptions behind the offered solutions and explanations. Discussion is important, but only if it is based on well-reasoned arguments. Critical thinking and an open mind are essential for finding the right answers.
While having advanced analytical skills is rarely a disadvantage, the most important characteristics of good students are curiosity and that they do not shy away from challenges.