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Measuring attention and strategic behavior in games with private information

Author

Listed:
  • Brocas, Isabelle
  • Camerer, Colin
  • Carrillo, Juan D
  • Wang, Stephanie W.

Abstract

In experiments, people do not always appear to think very strategically or to infer the information of others from their choices. To understand this thinking process further, we use "Mousetracking" to record which game payoffs subjects look at, for how long, in games of private information with three information states, which vary in strategic complexity. Subjects often deviate from Nash equilibrium choices, converge only modestly toward equilibrium across 40 trials, and often fail to look at payoffs which they need to in order to compute an equilibrium response. Theories such as QRE and cursed equilibrium, which can explain non-equilibrium choices, are not well supported by the combination of both choices and lookups. When cluster analysis is used to group subjects according to lookup patterns and choices, the clusters appear to correspond approximately to level-3, level-2 and level-1 thinking in level-k cognitive hierarchy models. The connection between looking and choices is strong enough that the time durations of looking at key payoffs can predict choices, to some extent, at the individual level and at the trial-by-trial level.

Suggested Citation

  • Brocas, Isabelle & Camerer, Colin & Carrillo, Juan D & Wang, Stephanie W., 2009. "Measuring attention and strategic behavior in games with private information," CEPR Discussion Papers 7529, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7529
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Elena Reutskaja & Rosemarie Nagel & Colin F. Camerer & Antonio Rangel, 2011. "Search Dynamics in Consumer Choice under Time Pressure: An Eye-Tracking Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 900-926, April.
    2. Tore Ellingsen & Robert Östling, 2010. "When Does Communication Improve Coordination?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1695-1724, September.
    3. Brocas, Isabelle & Carrillo, Juan D & Castro, Manuel, 2010. "The nature of information and its effect on bidding behavior: laboratory evidence in a common value auction," CEPR Discussion Papers 7848, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Georganas, Sotiris & Healy, Paul J. & Weber, Roberto A., 2015. "On the persistence of strategic sophistication," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 159(PA), pages 369-400.
    5. Hu, Yingyao & Kayaba, Yutaka & Shum, Matthew, 2013. "Nonparametric learning rules from bandit experiments: The eyes have it!," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 215-231.
    6. Caplin, Andrew & Dean, Mark, 2011. "Search, choice, and revealed preference," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 6(1), January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    asymmetric information; attention; laboratory experiment; mousetracking;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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