Working Paper

Taking risks by flying paper airplanes


We report the results of an outdoor activity conducted in game theory courses where students were invited to throw airplanes in order to win a prize. They flew self-made paper airplanes to earn points in three trials. The main purpose of these outdoor classroom experiments was to incentive students to learn by experiencing concepts of uncertainty in the gain domain (risk aversion). After throwing the airplanes, the students thought about decisions under uncertainty. Specifically, we provide a theoretical model to explain the subjects’ decisions, optimal behavior, and deviations from that behavior. Overall, our activity creates a setting to foster students’ interest in the study of decision making under uncertainty.

Keywords: Classroom experiments, expected utility theory, flipped classroom, risk-taking