Availability of Information and Representation Effects in the Centipede Game
AbstractThe paper presents the results of a novel experiment testing the effects of environment complexity on strategic behavior, using a centipede game. Behavior in the centipede game has been explained either by appealing to failures of backward induction or by calling for preferences that induce equilibria consistent with observed behavior. By manipulating the way in which information is provided to subjects we show that reduced availability of information is sufficient to shift the distribution of take-nodes further from the equilibrium prediction. On the other hand, similar results are obtained in a treatment where reduced availability of information is combined with an attempt to elicit preferences for reciprocity, through the presentation of the centipede as a repeated trust game. Our results could be interpreted as cognitive limitations being more effective than preferences in determining (shifts in) behavior in our experimental centipede. Furthermore our results are at odds with the recent ones in Cox and James (2012), suggesting caution in generalizing their results. Reducing the availability of information may hamper backward induction or induce myopic behavior, depending on the strategic environment.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2012-051.
Date of creation: 11 Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Centipede; Backward Induction; Representation effects;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
- C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-09-22 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2012-09-22 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EVO-2012-09-22 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-GTH-2012-09-22 (Game Theory)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Giovanni Ponti, 1996.
"Cycles of Learning in the Centipede Game,"
96-22 ISSN 1350-6722, University College London, Department of Economics.
- Giovanna Devetag & Massimo Warglien, 2002.
"Games and Phone Numbers: Do Short Term Memory Bounds Affect Strategy Behavior?,"
ROCK Working Papers
018, Department of Computer and Management Sciences, University of Trento, Italy, revised 13 Jun 2008.
- Devetag, Giovanna & Warglien, Massimo, 2003. "Games and phone numbers: Do short-term memory bounds affect strategic behavior?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 189-202, April.
- Maria Giovanna Devetag & Massimo Warglien, 2002. "Games and phone numbers: do short term memory bounds affect strategic behavior?," CEEL Working Papers 0211, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
- Ignacio Palacios-Huerta & Oscar Volij, .
Economic theory and game theory
020, Oscar Volij.
- Zauner, Klaus G., 1999. "A Payoff Uncertainty Explanation of Results in Experimental Centipede Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 157-185, January.
- Cappelletti, Dominique & Güth, Werner & Ploner, Matteo, 2011. "Being of two minds: Ultimatum offers under cognitive constraints," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 940-950.
- Duffy, Sean & Smith, John, 2012.
"Cognitive load in the multi-player prisoner's dilemma game,"
35906, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Duffy, Sean & Smith, John, 2011. "Cognitive load in the multi-player prisoner's dilemma game," MPRA Paper 30856, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Rapoport, Amnon & Stein, William E. & Parco, James E. & Nicholas, Thomas E., 2003. "Equilibrium play and adaptive learning in a three-person centipede game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 239-265, May.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Markus Pasche).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.