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Cognitive ability and the effect of strategic uncertainty


  • Nobuyuki Hanaki

    () (Université Nice Sophia Antipolis
    Skema Business School)

  • Nicolas Jacquemet

    () (Paris School of Economics and University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Centre d’Economie de la Sorbonne)

  • Stéphane Luchini

    () (Aix-Marseille University (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), CNRS & EHESS)

  • Adam Zylbersztejn

    () (Université de Lyon and Université de Lyon 2
    CNRS, GATE Lyon Saint-Etienne)


Abstract How is one’s cognitive ability related to the way one responds to strategic uncertainty? We address this question by conducting a set of experiments in simple $$2 \times 2$$ 2 × 2 dominance solvable coordination games. Our experiments involve two main treatments: one in which two human subjects interact, and another in which one human subject interacts with a computer program whose behavior is known. By making the behavior of the computer perfectly predictable, the latter treatment eliminates strategic uncertainty. We find that subjects with higher cognitive ability are more sensitive to strategic uncertainty than those with lower cognitive ability.

Suggested Citation

  • Nobuyuki Hanaki & Nicolas Jacquemet & Stéphane Luchini & Adam Zylbersztejn, 2016. "Cognitive ability and the effect of strategic uncertainty," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 81(1), pages 101-121, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:theord:v:81:y:2016:i:1:d:10.1007_s11238-015-9525-9
    DOI: 10.1007/s11238-015-9525-9

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    Cited by:

    1. Joao V. Ferreira & Nobuyuki Hanaki & Benoît Tarroux, 2017. "On the Roots of the Intrinsic Value of Decision Rights: Evidence from France and Japan," GREDEG Working Papers 2017-29, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.
    2. Nicolas Jacquemet & Stephane Luchini & Jason Shogren & Adam Zylbersztejn, 2011. "Coordination with Communication under Oath," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00635801, HAL.
    3. Allred, Sarah & Duffy, Sean & Smith, John, 2016. "Cognitive load and strategic sophistication," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 162-178.
    4. Nobuyuki Hanaki & Nicolas Jacquemet & Stéphane Luchini & Adam Zylbersztejn, 2016. "Fluid intelligence and cognitive reflection in a strategic environment: evidence from dominance-solvable games," PSE - Labex "OSE-Ouvrir la Science Economique" hal-01359231, HAL.

    More about this item


    Strategic uncertainty; Bounded rationality; Robot; Experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • 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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