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Three Very Simple Games and What It Takes to Solve Them

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Author Info

  • Ondrej Rydval

    (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena, Germany, and CERGE-EI)

  • Andreas Ortmann

    ()
    (CERGE-EI, Charles University Prague and Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic)

  • Michal Ostatnicky

    (CERGE-EI, Charles University Prague and Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic)

Abstract

We study the nature of dominance violations in three minimalist dominance-solvable guessing games, featuring two or three players choosing among two or three strategies. We examine how subjects' reported reasoning translates into their choices and beliefs about others' choices, and how reasoning and choices relate to their measured cognitive and personality characteristics. Only about a third of our subjects reason in accord with dominance; they always make dominant choices and almost always expect others to do so. By contrast, around 60% of subjects describe reasoning processes inconsistent with dominance, yet a quarter of them actually make dominant choices and a fifth of them expect others to do so. Dominance violations seem to arise mainly due to subjects misrepresenting the strategic nature of the guessing games. Reasoning errors are more likely for subjects with lower ability to maintain and allocate attention, as measured by working memory, and for subjects with weaker intrinsic motivation and premeditation attitudes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2007-092.

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Date of creation: 21 Nov 2007
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Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2007-092

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Keywords: cognition; bounded rationality; beliefs; guessing games; experiment;

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References

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  1. John Hey & Julia Knoll, 2006. "How Far Ahead Do People Plan?," Discussion Papers 06/17, Department of Economics, University of York.
  2. 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.
  3. Dan Ariely & Uri Gneezy & George Loewenstein & Nina Mazar, 2009. "Large Stakes and Big Mistakes," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(2), pages 451-469.
  4. Gary Charness & Dan Levin, 2005. "The Origin of the Winner’s Curse: A Laboratory Study," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000602, UCLA Department of Economics.
  5. Costa-Gomes, Miguel & Crawford, Vincent P. & Broseta, Bruno, 1998. "Cognition and Behavior in Normal-Form Games: An Experimental Study," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt1vn4h7x5, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  6. Miguel A. Costa-Gomes & Vincent P. Crawford, 2006. "Cognition and Behavior in Two-Person Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000336, UCLA Department of Economics.
  7. Antoni Bosch-Dom?nech & Jose Garcia-Montalvo & Rosemarie Nagel & Albert Satorra, 2002. "One, two, (three), infinity: Newspaper and lab beauty-contest experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00011, The Field Experiments Website.
  8. 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.
  9. Tanga McDaniel & E. Rutström, 2001. "Decision Making Costs and Problem Solving Performance," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 145-161, October.
  10. John Bone & John D Hey & John Suckling, 2006. "Do People Plan?," Discussion Papers 06/22, Department of Economics, University of York, revised Jul 2007.
  11. Devetag, Giovanna & Warglien, Massimo, 2008. "Playing the wrong game: An experimental analysis of relational complexity and strategic misrepresentation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 364-382, March.
  12. 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.
  13. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
  14. Miguel A. Costa-Gomes & Georg Weizs�cker, 2008. "Stated Beliefs and Play in Normal-Form Games," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 729-762.
  15. T. Ballinger & Eric Hudson & Leonie Karkoviata & Nathaniel Wilcox, 2011. "Saving behavior and cognitive abilities," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 349-374, September.
  16. Grosskopf, Brit & Nagel, Rosemarie, 2008. "The two-person beauty contest," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 93-99, January.
  17. Brit Grosskopf & Rosemarie Nagel, 2007. "Rational reasoning or adaptive behavior? Evidence from two-person beauty contest games," Economics Working Papers 1068, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Rydval, Ondrej & Ortmann, Andreas & Ostatnicky, Michal, 2009. "Three very simple games and what it takes to solve them," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 589-601, October.
  3. Carpenter, Jeffrey & Graham, Michael & Wolf, Jesse, 2013. "Cognitive ability and strategic sophistication," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 115-130.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Giovanna Devetag & Sibilla Di Guida & Luca Polonio, 2013. "An eye-tracking study of feature-based choice in one-shot games," LEM Papers Series 2013/05, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  8. 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.
  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. 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.
  11. 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].

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