Tools for Discovery: Experimenting with Simulations

Daniel Druckman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The methodology of experimental simulation is illustrated with examples of discoveries made during the course of a long research career The discoveries resulted from experiments performed in such simulated settings as collective bargaining, the Inter-Nation Simulation, political decision making, ecumenical councils, international environmental negotiations, and peace conferences. Some of these discoveries have been generated through the design process: For example, the way that values and interests interact during the political decision-making process. Other discoveries were findings that served to arbitrate among competing hypotheses, for example, the relative importance of alternative approaches to resolving conflicts of interest. The insights gained through the years demonstrate the value of simulation as a tool for experimentation. Whether these insights generalize widely to similar settings and populations remains an issue. Both the findings and the issues are summarized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)446-455
Number of pages10
JournalSimulation & Gaming
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • conflict resolution
  • experimental simulation
  • negotiating behavior
  • policy exercises
  • political decision making


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