It is often of interest to elicit beliefs from populations that may include naïve participants. Unfortunately, elicitation mechanisms are typically assessed by assuming optimal responses to incentives. Using laboratory experiments with a population that potentially includes naïve participants, we compare the performance of two elicitation mechanisms proposed by Karni (Econometrica 77(2):603-606, 2009). These mechanisms, denoted as “declarative” and “clock,” are valuable because their incentive compatibility does not require strong assumptions such as risk neutrality or expected utility maximization. We show that, theoretically and empirically, with a sufficient fraction of naïve participants, the clock mechanism elicits beliefs more accurately than the declarative. The source of this accuracy advantage is twofold: the clock censors naïve responses, and participants are more likely to employ dominant strategies under the clock. Our findings hold practical value to anyone interested in eliciting beliefs from representative populations, a goal of increasing importance when conducting large-scale surveys or field experiments.
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