Playing the wrong game: An experimental analysis of relational complexity and strategic misrepresentation
It has been suggested that players often produce simplified and/or misspecified mental models of strategic decisions [Kreps, D., 1990. Game Theory and Economic Modeling. Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford]. We submit that the relational structure of players' preferences in a game is a source of cognitive complexity, and may be an important driver of such simplifications. We provide a classification of order structures in two-person games based on the properties of monotonicity and projectivity, and present experiments in which subjects construct representations of games of different relational complexity and subsequently play the games according to these representations. Experimental results suggest that relational complexity matters. More complex games are harder to represent, and this difficulty seems correlated with short term memory capacity. In addition, most erroneous representations are simpler than the correct ones. Finally, subjects who misrepresent the games behave consistently with such representations, suggesting that in many strategic settings individuals may act optimally on the ground of simplified and mistaken premises.
If 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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Miguel Costa-Gomes & Vincent P. Crawford & Bruno Broseta, .
"Cognition and Behavior in Normal-Form Games:An Experimental Study,"
00/45, Department of Economics, University of York.
- Costa-Gomes, Miguel & Crawford, Vincent P & Broseta, Bruno, 2001. "Cognition and Behavior in Normal-Form Games: An Experimental Study," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1193-1235, September.
- Nagel, Rosemarie, 1993. "Experimental Results on Interactive Competitive Guessing," Discussion Paper Serie B 236, University of Bonn, Germany.
- Ariel Rubinstein, 2005.
"Economics and Language,"
666156000000000654, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Rubinstein,Ariel, 2000. "Economics and Language," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521593069, November.
- Ariel Rubinstein, 2000. "Economics and Language," Online economics textbooks, SUNY-Oswego, Department of Economics, number lang1.
- Rubinstein,Ariel, 2000. "Economics and Language," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521789905, November.
- Knez, Marc & Camerer, Colin, 2000. "Increasing Cooperation in Prisoner's Dilemmas by Establishing a Precedent of Efficiency in Coordination Games," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 194-216, July.
- 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.
- Simon, Herbert A. & Schaeffer, Jonathan, 1992. "The game of chess," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 1-17 Elsevier.
- Jacob K. Goeree & Charles A. Holt, 2001.
"Ten Little Treasures of Game Theory and Ten Intuitive Contradictions,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1402-1422, December.
- Jacob K Goeree & Charles A Holt, 2004. "Ten Little Treasures of Game Theory and Ten Intuitive Contradictions," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000900, David K. Levine.
- Jacob K. Goeree & Charles A. Holt, 2000. "Ten Little Treasures of Game Theory and Ten Intuitive Contradictions," Virginia Economics Online Papers 333, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
- Colin Camerer & Teck-Hua Ho & Juin Kuan Chong, 2003. "A cognitive hierarchy theory of one-shot games: Some preliminary results," Levine's Bibliography 506439000000000495, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Rubinstein, Ariel, 1996. "Why Are Certain Properties of Binary Relations Relatively More Common in Natural Language?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 343-55, March.
- Pillutla, Madan M. & Chen, Xiao-Ping, 1999. "Social Norms and Cooperation in Social Dilemmas: The Effects of Context and Feedback, , ," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 81-103, May.
- Stahl, Dale II & Wilson, Paul W., 1994. "Experimental evidence on players' models of other players," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 309-327, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:62:y:2008:i:2:p:364-382. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.