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Three very simple games and what it takes to solve them

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  • Rydval, Ondrej
  • Ortmann, Andreas
  • Ostatnicky, Michal

Abstract

We study experimentally the nature of dominance violations in three minimalist dominance-solvable guessing games. Only about a third of our subjects report reasoning consistent with dominance; they all make dominant choices and almost all expect others to do so. Nearly two-third of our subjects report reasoning inconsistent 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 working memory, 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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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:72:y:2009:i:1:p:589-601
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    2. Joshua Zonca & Giorgio Coricelli & Luca Polonio, 2020. "Gaze patterns disclose the link between cognitive reflection and sophistication in strategic interaction," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 15(2), pages 230-245, March.
    3. Francisca Jiménez-Jiménez & Javier Rodero Cosano, 2021. "Experimental cheap talk games: strategic complementarity and coordination," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 91(2), pages 235-263, September.
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    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 1-19, December.
    6. 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.
    7. Carpenter, Jeffrey & Graham, Michael & Wolf, Jesse, 2013. "Cognitive ability and strategic sophistication," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 115-130.
    8. Kiss, Hubert János & Rodriguez-Lara, Ismael & Rosa-García, Alfonso, 2015. "Kognitív képességek és stratégiai bizonytalanság egy bankrohamkísérletben [Cognitive abilities and strategic uncertainty in a bank-run experiment]," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(10), pages 1030-1047.
    9. Sawa, Ryoji & Zusai, Dai, 2019. "Evolutionary dynamics in multitasking environments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 288-308.
    10. 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.
    11. Brosig-Koch, Jeannette & Heinrich, Timo, 2018. "The role of communication content and reputation in the choice of transaction partners," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 49-66.
    12. 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.
    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;Society for Economic Science with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, vol. 9(1), pages 69-105, April.
    14. 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.
    15. Lohse, Johannes, 2016. "Smart or selfish – When smart guys finish nice," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 28-40.
    16. Timothy N. Cason & Charles R. Plott, 2014. "Misconceptions and Game Form Recognition: Challenges to Theories of Revealed Preference and Framing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(6), pages 1235-1270.
    17. 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.
    18. Giovanna Devetag & Sibilla Guida & Luca Polonio, 2016. "An eye-tracking study of feature-based choice in one-shot games," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(1), pages 177-201, March.
    19. Ye Jin, 2021. "Does level-k behavior imply level-k thinking?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 24(1), pages 330-353, March.
    20. Burnham, Terence C. & Cesarini, David & Wallace, Björn & Johannesson, Magnus & Lichtenstein, Paul, 2007. "Billiards and Brains: Cognitive Ability and Behavior in a p-Beauty Contest," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 684, Stockholm School of Economics.
    21. Johannes Leder & Leonhard Schilbach & Andreas Mojzisch, 2016. "Strategic Decision-Making and Social Skills: Integrating Behavioral Economics and Social Cognition Research," International Journal of Financial Studies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(4), pages 1-14, November.
    22. Baghestanian, Sascha & Frey, Seth, 2016. "GO figure: Analytic and strategic skills are separable," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 71-80.
    23. Despoina Alempaki & Andrew M Colman & Felix Koelle & Graham Loomes & Briony D Pulford, 2019. "Investigating the failure to best respond in experimental games," Discussion Papers 2019-13, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    24. Giovanna Devetag & Sibilla Guida & Luca Polonio, 2016. "An eye-tracking study of feature-based choice in one-shot games," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(1), pages 177-201, March.
    25. Gill, David & Prowse, Victoria, 2012. "Cognitive ability and learning to play equilibrium: A level-k analysis," MPRA Paper 38317, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 23 Apr 2012.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cognition Bounded rationality Belief Guessing game Experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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