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The Framing of Games and the Psychology of Play

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  • Martin Dufwenberg

    () (University of Arizona)

  • Simon Gaechter

    () (University of Nottingham)

  • Heike Hennig-Schmidt

    () (University of Bonn)

Abstract

Psychological game theory can provide rational-choice-based framing effects; frames influence beliefs, beliefs influence motivations. We explain this theoretically and explore empirical relevance experimentally. In a 2?2 design of one-shot public good games we show that frames affect subject’s first- and second-order beliefs, and contributions. From a psychological gametheoretic framework we derive two mutually compatible hypotheses about guilt aversion and reciprocity under which contributions are related to second- and first-order beliefs, respectively. Our results are consistent with either.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Dufwenberg & Simon Gaechter & Heike Hennig-Schmidt, 2010. "The Framing of Games and the Psychology of Play," Discussion Papers 2010-16, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdx:dpaper:2010-16
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    framing; psychological game theory; guilt aversion; reciprocity; public good games; voluntary cooperation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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