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How do people play against Nash opponents in games which have a mixed strategy equilibrium?

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  • Jason Shachat
  • J. Todd Swarthout

Abstract

We examine experimentally how humans behave when they, unbeknownst to them, play against a computer which implements its part of a mixed strategy Nash equilibrium. We consider two games, one zero-sum and another unprofitable with a pure minimax strategy. A minority of subjects' play was consistent with their Nash equilibrium strategy. But a larger percentage of subjects' play was more consistent with different models of play: equal-probable play for the zero-sum game, and the minimax strategy in the non-profitable game.

Suggested Citation

  • Jason Shachat & J. Todd Swarthout, 2008. "How do people play against Nash opponents in games which have a mixed strategy equilibrium?," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2008-07, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, revised Feb 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:exc:wpaper:2008-07
    as

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    File URL: http://excen.gsu.edu/workingpapers/GSU_EXCEN_WP_2008-07.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2008
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    File URL: http://excen.gsu.edu/workingpapers/GSU_EXCEN_WP_2011-04.pdf
    File Function: Revised version, 2011
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marc Rieger & Mei Wang, 2006. "Cumulative prospect theory and the St. Petersburg paradox," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 28(3), pages 665-679, August.
    2. Yaari, Menahem E, 1987. "The Dual Theory of Choice under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 95-115, January.
    3. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. "Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
    4. James C. Cox & Vjollca Sadiraj, 2008. "Risky Decisions in the Large and in the Small: Theory and Experiment," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2008-01, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    5. Harless, David W & Camerer, Colin F, 1994. "The Predictive Utility of Generalized Expected Utility Theories," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1251-1289, November.
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