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Three Very Simple Games and What It Takes to Solve Them

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  • Ondrej Rydval,
  • Andreas Ortmann
  • Michal Ostatnicky

Abstract

We study experimentally the nature of dominance violations in three minimalist dominancesolvable guessing games. We examine how subjects’ reported reasoning processes translate into their stated choices and beliefs about others’ choices, and how both reasoning processes and choices relate to their measured cognitive and personality characteristics. Only about a third of subjects reason in line with dominance; they all make dominant choices and almost all expect others to do so. By contrast, nearly two-thirds of subjects reason inconsistently with dominance, yet a quarter of them actually make dominant choices and half of those expect others to do so. Reasoning errors are more likely for subjects with lower ability to maintain and allocate attention, as measured by working memory, and for subjects with lower intrinsic motivation and premeditation attitude. Dominance-incompatible reasoning arises mainly from subjects misrepresenting the strategic nature (payoff structure) of the guessing games.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague in its series CERGE-EI Working Papers with number wp347.

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Date of creation: Jan 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp347

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Keywords: Cognition; bounded rationality; beliefs; guessing games; experiment.;

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References

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  1. Costa-Gomes, Miguel A. & Crawford, Vincent P., 2004. "Cognition and Behavior in Two-Person Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt449812fx, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
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  9. Ondrej Rydval & Andreas Ortmann & Michal Ostatnicky, 2007. "Three Very Simple Games and What It Takes to Solve Them," Jena Economic Research Papers 2007-092, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  10. Ondrej Rydval, 2007. "Financial Incentives and Cognitive Abilities: Evidence from a Forecasting Task with Varying Cognitive Load," Jena Economic Research Papers 2007-040, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Burchardi, Konrad B. & Penczynski, Stefan P., 2014. "Out of your mind: Eliciting individual reasoning in one shot games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 39-57.
  2. Carpenter, Jeffrey & Graham, Michael & Wolf, Jesse, 2013. "Cognitive ability and strategic sophistication," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 115-130.
  3. Ondrej Rydval, & Andreas Ortmann & Michal Ostatnicky, 2008. "Three Very Simple Games and What It Takes to Solve Them," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp347, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  4. Ondrej Rydval, 2011. "The Causal Effect of Cognitive Abilities on Economic Behavior: Evidence from a Forecasting Task with Varying Cognitive Load," Jena Economic Research Papers 2011-064, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  5. Sibilla Di Guida & Giovanna Devetag, 2013. "Feature-Based Choice and Similarity Perception in Normal-Form Games: An Experimental Study," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(4), pages 776-794, December.
  6. Burnham, Terence C. & Cesarini, David & Wallace, Björn & Johannesson, Magnus & Lichtenstein, Paul, 2007. "Billiards and Brains: Cognitive Ability and Behavior in a p-Beauty Contest," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 684, Stockholm School of Economics.
  7. Giovanna Devetag & Sibilla Di Guida & Luca Polonio, 2013. "An eye-tracking study of feature-based choice in one-shot games," CEEL Working Papers 1301, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
  8. Ondrej Rydval, 2012. "The Causal Effect of Cognitive Abilities on Economic Behavior: Evidence from a Forecasting Task with Varying Cognitive Load," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp457, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  9. Burnham, Terence C. & Cesarini, David & Johannesson, Magnus & Lichtenstein, Paul & Wallace, Björn, 2009. "Higher cognitive ability is associated with lower entries in a p-beauty contest," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 171-175, October.
  10. Sérgio Almeida De Sousa & Marcos De Almeida Rangel, 2014. "Do As I Do, Not As I Say: Incentivization And The Relationship Between Cognitive Ability And Riskaversion," Anais do XL Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 40th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 126, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
  11. David Gill & Victoria Prowse, 2013. "Cognitive ability and learning to play equilibrium: A level-k analysis," Economics Series Working Papers 641, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  12. Giovanna Devetag & Sibilla Di Guida, 2010. "Feature-based Choice and Similarity in Normal-form Games: An Experimental Study," LEM Papers Series 2010/18, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  13. Shu-Heng Chen & Ye-Rong Du & Lee-Xieng Yang, 2014. "Cognitive capacity and cognitive hierarchy: a study based on beauty contest experiments," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 69-105, April.

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