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On the short horizon of spontaneous iterative reasoning in logical puzzles and games

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  • Mazzocco, Ketti
  • Cherubini, Anna Maria
  • Cherubini, Paolo
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    Abstract

    A reasoning strategy is iterative when the initial conclusion suggested by a set of premises is integrated into that set of premises in order to yield additional conclusions. Previous experimental studies on game theory-based strategic games (such as the beauty contest game) observed difficulty in reasoning iteratively, which has been partly attributed to bounded individual rationality. However, this difficulty has also been attributed to problems in adequately representing the beliefs, actions, and goals of other agents involved in the games. In four experiments, we observed similar difficulties in iterative reasoning in a variety of puzzles and games that did not involve social interactions with other agents, where they can only be caused by individual cognitive boundaries. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that an intrinsic difficulty in iterative reasoning originates from a tendency not to revise our initial mental representation of a problem in light of the initial conclusions that it implies.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

    Volume (Year): 121 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 24-40

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:121:y:2013:i:1:p:24-40

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/obhdp

    Related research

    Keywords: Beauty contest game; Decision making; Mental models; Problem solving; Reasoning; Theory of mind;

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