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Pinocchio's Pupil: Using Eyetracking and Pupil Dilation to Understand Truth Telling and Deception in Sender-Receiver Games

  • Joseph Tao-yi Wang
  • Michael Spezio
  • Colin F. Camerer

We report experiments on sender-receiver games with an incentive for senders to exaggerate. Subjects "overcommunicate" -- messages are more informative of the true state than they should be, in equilibrium. Eyetracking shows that senders look at payoffs in a way that is consistent with a level-k model. A combination of sender messages and lookup patterns predicts the true state about twice as often as predicted by equilibrium. Using these measures to infer the state would enable receiver subjects to hypothetically earn 16-21 percent more than they actually do, an economic value of 60 percent of the maximum increment. (JEL C72, C91, D82, Z13)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 100 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 984-1007

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:100:y:2010:i:3:p:984-1007
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.100.3.984
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