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Bayesian analysis of deterministic and stochastic prisoner's dilemma games

Author

Listed:
  • Howard Kunreuther
  • Gabriel Silvasi
  • Eric T. Bradlow
  • Dylan Small

Abstract

This paper compares the behavior of individuals playing a classic two-person deterministic prisoner's dilemma (PD) game with choice data obtained from repeated interdependent security prisoner's dilemma games with varying probabilities of loss and the ability to learn (or not learn) about the actions of one's counterpart, an area of recent interest in experimental economics. This novel data set, from a series of controlled laboratory experiments, is analyzed using Bayesian hierarchical methods, the first application of such methods in this research domain. We find that individuals are much more likely to be cooperative when payoffs are deterministic than when the outcomes are probabilistic. A key factor explaining this difference is that subjects in a stochastic PD game respond not just to what their counterparts did but also to whether or not they suffered a loss. These findings are interpreted in the context of behavioral theories of commitment, altruism and reciprocity. The work provides a linkage between Bayesian statistics, experimental economics, and consumer psychology.

Suggested Citation

  • Howard Kunreuther & Gabriel Silvasi & Eric T. Bradlow & Dylan Small, 2009. "Bayesian analysis of deterministic and stochastic prisoner's dilemma games," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 4(5), pages 363-384, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:jdm:journl:v:4:y:2009:i:5:p:363-384
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Rand, David G. & Fudenberg, Drew & Dreber, Anna, 2015. "It's the thought that counts: The role of intentions in noisy repeated games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 481-499.
    2. Asim Ansari & Ricardo Montoya & Oded Netzer, 2012. "Dynamic learning in behavioral games: A hidden Markov mixture of experts approach," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 475-503, December.
    3. repec:kap:jbuset:v:144:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10551-016-3058-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Vesely, Stepan & Wengström, Erik, 2017. "Risk and Cooperation: Experimental Evidence from Stochastic Public Good Games," Working Papers 2017:3, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    5. Ozan Aksoy & Jeroen Weesie, 2013. "Hierarchical Bayesian Analysis of Biased Beliefs and Distributional Other-Regarding Preferences," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(1), pages 1-23, February.
    6. John J. Nay & Yevgeniy Vorobeychik, 2016. "Predicting Human Cooperation," Papers 1601.07792, arXiv.org, revised Apr 2016.

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