Some Experimental Games
This paper reports the results of six experiments and analyses performed to explore the applicability of the non-constant-sum case of the theories of von Neumann-Morgenstern, and others, to the actual behavior of people playing games or involved in bargaining situations. The paper suggests directions in which the theory of games might be modified and extended to improve its applicability and usefulness. A "split-the-difference principle" is suggested to augment the usual theory, so as to specify the exact amount of payments to be made in an ordinary two-person bargaining situation such as the sale of a used car. The application of this principle seems satisfactory in the experiments. One experiment suggests that, in a sequence of trials in the same game situation, people tend to start near an equilibrium point and then try to find a better equilibrium, if there is one. The experiments show examples of non-optimal behavior of the bargainers when the judgment necessary to estimate the relevant payoff is obscure. A fair division of five parcels of objects among five players when each player attaches different values to the parcels is outlined and computed, and the effect of coalitions is discussed.
Volume (Year): 5 (1958)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
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