IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/jrp/jrpwrp/2007-092.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Three Very Simple Games and What It Takes to Solve Them

Author

Listed:
  • Ondrej Rydval

    (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena, Germany, and CERGE-EI)

  • Andreas Ortmann

    (CERGE-EI, Charles University Prague and Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic)

  • Michal Ostatnicky

    (CERGE-EI, Charles University Prague and Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic)

Abstract

We study the nature of dominance violations in three minimalist dominance-solvable guessing games, featuring two or three players choosing among two or three strategies. We examine how subjects' reported reasoning translates into their choices and beliefs about others' choices, and how reasoning and choices relate to their measured cognitive and personality characteristics. Only about a third of our subjects reason in accord with dominance; they always make dominant choices and almost always expect others to do so. By contrast, around 60% of subjects describe reasoning processes inconsistent with dominance, yet a quarter of them actually make dominant choices and a fifth of them expect others to do so. Dominance violations seem to arise mainly due to subjects misrepresenting the strategic nature of the guessing games. Reasoning errors are more likely for subjects with lower ability to maintain and allocate attention, as measured by working memory, and for subjects with weaker intrinsic motivation and premeditation attitudes.

Suggested Citation

  • Ondrej Rydval & Andreas Ortmann & Michal Ostatnicky, 2007. "Three Very Simple Games and What It Takes to Solve Them," Jena Economic Research Papers 2007-092, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2007-092
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www2.wiwi.uni-jena.de/Papers/jerp2007/wp_2007_092.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. T. Ballinger & Eric Hudson & Leonie Karkoviata & Nathaniel Wilcox, 2011. "Saving behavior and cognitive abilities," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(3), pages 349-374, September.
    2. Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini, 2000. "Pay Enough or Don't Pay at All," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 791-810.
    3. Antoni Bosch-Domènech & José G. Montalvo & Rosemarie Nagel & Albert Satorra, 2002. "One, Two, (Three), Infinity, ...: Newspaper and Lab Beauty-Contest Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1687-1701, December.
    4. John Bone & John Hey & John Suckling, 2009. "Do people plan?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 12(1), pages 12-25, March.
    5. Osborne, Martin J & Rubinstein, Ariel, 1998. "Games with Procedurally Rational Players," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 834-847, September.
    6. Vincent P. Crawford & Miguel A. Costa-Gomes, 2006. "Cognition and Behavior in Two-Person Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1737-1768, December.
    7. Miguel A. Costa-Gomes & Georg Weizsäcker, 2008. "Stated Beliefs and Play in Normal-Form Games," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 729-762.
    8. Rydval, Ondrej & Ortmann, Andreas & Ostatnicky, Michal, 2009. "Three very simple games and what it takes to solve them," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 589-601, October.
    9. Costa-Gomes, Miguel & Crawford, Vincent P & Broseta, Bruno, 2001. "Cognition and Behavior in Normal-Form Games: An Experimental Study," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1193-1235, September.
    10. John D. Hey & Julia A. Knoll, 2018. "How far ahead do people plan?," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Experiments in Economics Decision Making and Markets, chapter 12, pages 301-306, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    11. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
    12. Ondrej Rydval, 2007. "Financial Incentives and Cognitive Abilities: Evidence from a Forecasting Task with Varying Cognitive Load," Jena Economic Research Papers 2007-040, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    13. Gary Charness & Dan Levin, 2009. "The Origin of the Winner's Curse: A Laboratory Study," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 207-236, February.
    14. Burnham, Terence C. & Cesarini, David & Johannesson, Magnus & Lichtenstein, Paul & Wallace, Björn, 2009. "Higher cognitive ability is associated with lower entries in a p-beauty contest," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 171-175, October.
    15. Devetag, Giovanna & Warglien, Massimo, 2008. "Playing the wrong game: An experimental analysis of relational complexity and strategic misrepresentation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 364-382, March.
    16. Grosskopf, Brit & Nagel, Rosemarie, 2008. "The two-person beauty contest," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 93-99, January.
    17. Brit Grosskopf & Rosemarie Nagel, 2007. "Rational reasoning or adaptive behavior? Evidence from two-person beauty contest games," Economics Working Papers 1068, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    18. Dan Ariely & Uri Gneezy & George Loewenstein & Nina Mazar, 2009. "Large Stakes and Big Mistakes," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(2), pages 451-469.
    19. Tanga McDaniel & E. Rutström, 2001. "Decision Making Costs and Problem Solving Performance," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 4(2), pages 145-161, October.
    20. Burnham, Terence C. & Cesarini, David & Wallace, Björn & Johannesson, Magnus & Lichtenstein, Paul, 2007. "Billiards and Brains: Cognitive Ability and Behavior in a p-Beauty Contest," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 684, Stockholm School of Economics.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Sérgio Almeida De Sousa & Marcos De Almeida Rangel, 2014. "Do As I Do, Not As I Say: Incentivization And The Relationship Between Cognitive Ability And Riskaversion," Anais do XL Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 40th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 126, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    2. Giovanna Devetag & Sibilla Guida & Luca Polonio, 2016. "An eye-tracking study of feature-based choice in one-shot games," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(1), pages 177-201, March.
    3. Rydval, Ondrej & Ortmann, Andreas & Ostatnicky, Michal, 2009. "Three very simple games and what it takes to solve them," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 589-601, October.
    4. Burchardi, Konrad B. & Penczynski, Stefan P., 2014. "Out of your mind: Eliciting individual reasoning in one shot games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 39-57.
    5. Brosig-Koch, Jeannette & Heinrich, Timo, 2018. "The role of communication content and reputation in the choice of transaction partners," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 49-66.
    6. Kiss, H.J. & Rodriguez-Lara, I. & Rosa-García, A., 2016. "Think twice before running! Bank runs and cognitive abilities," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 12-19.
    7. Joshua Zonca & Giorgio Coricelli & Luca Polonio, 2020. "Gaze patterns disclose the link between cognitive reflection and sophistication in strategic interaction," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 15(2), pages 230-245, March.
    8. Francisca Jiménez-Jiménez & Javier Rodero Cosano, 2021. "Experimental cheap talk games: strategic complementarity and coordination," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 91(2), pages 235-263, September.
    9. Sibilla Di Guida & Giovanna Devetag, 2013. "Feature-Based Choice and Similarity Perception in Normal-Form Games: An Experimental Study," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(4), pages 1-19, December.
    10. Giovanna Devetag & Sibilla Guida & Luca Polonio, 2016. "An eye-tracking study of feature-based choice in one-shot games," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(1), pages 177-201, March.
    11. Giovanna Devetag & Sibilla Di Guida, 2010. "Feature-based Choice and Similarity in Normal-form Games: An Experimental Study," LEM Papers Series 2010/18, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    12. Carpenter, Jeffrey & Graham, Michael & Wolf, Jesse, 2013. "Cognitive ability and strategic sophistication," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 115-130.
    13. Ondrej Rydval, 2011. "The Causal Effect of Cognitive Abilities on Economic Behavior: Evidence from a Forecasting Task with Varying Cognitive Load," Jena Economic Research Papers 2011-064, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    14. Kiss, Hubert János & Rodriguez-Lara, Ismael & Rosa-García, Alfonso, 2015. "Kognitív képességek és stratégiai bizonytalanság egy bankrohamkísérletben [Cognitive abilities and strategic uncertainty in a bank-run experiment]," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(10), pages 1030-1047.
    15. Shu-Heng Chen & Ye-Rong Du & Lee-Xieng Yang, 2014. "Cognitive capacity and cognitive hierarchy: a study based on beauty contest experiments," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer;Society for Economic Science with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, vol. 9(1), pages 69-105, April.
    16. Ye Jin, 2021. "Does level-k behavior imply level-k thinking?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 24(1), pages 330-353, March.
    17. Burnham, Terence C. & Cesarini, David & Wallace, Björn & Johannesson, Magnus & Lichtenstein, Paul, 2007. "Billiards and Brains: Cognitive Ability and Behavior in a p-Beauty Contest," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 684, Stockholm School of Economics.
    18. Lohse, Johannes, 2016. "Smart or selfish – When smart guys finish nice," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 28-40.
    19. Sawa, Ryoji & Zusai, Dai, 2019. "Evolutionary dynamics in multitasking environments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 288-308.
    20. Burnham, Terence C. & Cesarini, David & Johannesson, Magnus & Lichtenstein, Paul & Wallace, Björn, 2009. "Higher cognitive ability is associated with lower entries in a p-beauty contest," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 171-175, October.
    21. Johannes Leder & Leonhard Schilbach & Andreas Mojzisch, 2016. "Strategic Decision-Making and Social Skills: Integrating Behavioral Economics and Social Cognition Research," International Journal of Financial Studies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(4), pages 1-14, November.
    22. Baghestanian, Sascha & Frey, Seth, 2016. "GO figure: Analytic and strategic skills are separable," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 71-80.
    23. Despoina Alempaki & Andrew M Colman & Felix Koelle & Graham Loomes & Briony D Pulford, 2019. "Investigating the failure to best respond in experimental games," Discussion Papers 2019-13, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    24. Gill, David & Prowse, Victoria, 2012. "Cognitive ability and learning to play equilibrium: A level-k analysis," MPRA Paper 38317, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 23 Apr 2012.
    25. Timothy N. Cason & Charles R. Plott, 2014. "Misconceptions and Game Form Recognition: Challenges to Theories of Revealed Preference and Framing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(6), pages 1235-1270.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Giovanna Devetag & Sibilla Guida & Luca Polonio, 2016. "An eye-tracking study of feature-based choice in one-shot games," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(1), pages 177-201, March.
    2. Nagel, Rosemarie & Bühren, Christoph & Frank, Björn, 2017. "Inspired and inspiring: Hervé Moulin and the discovery of the beauty contest game," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 191-207.
    3. Giovanna Devetag & Sibilla Di Guida, 2010. "Feature-based Choice and Similarity in Normal-form Games: An Experimental Study," LEM Papers Series 2010/18, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    4. Gill, David & Prowse, Victoria, 2012. "Cognitive ability and learning to play equilibrium: A level-k analysis," MPRA Paper 38317, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 23 Apr 2012.
    5. Mazzocco, Ketti & Cherubini, Anna Maria & Cherubini, Paolo, 2013. "On the short horizon of spontaneous iterative reasoning in logical puzzles and games," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 24-40.
    6. Ye Jin, 2021. "Does level-k behavior imply level-k thinking?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 24(1), pages 330-353, March.
    7. Joshua Zonca & Giorgio Coricelli & Luca Polonio, 2020. "Gaze patterns disclose the link between cognitive reflection and sophistication in strategic interaction," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 15(2), pages 230-245, March.
    8. Duffy, Sean & Smith, John, 2011. "Cognitive load in the multi-player prisoner's dilemma game," MPRA Paper 30856, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Ondrej Rydval, 2011. "The Causal Effect of Cognitive Abilities on Economic Behavior: Evidence from a Forecasting Task with Varying Cognitive Load," Jena Economic Research Papers 2011-064, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    10. Wanqun Zhao, 2020. "Cost of Reasoning and Strategic Sophistication," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(3), pages 1-27, September.
    11. Allred, Sarah & Duffy, Sean & Smith, John, 2016. "Cognitive load and strategic sophistication," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 162-178.
    12. Choo, Lawrence & Kaplan, Todd R. & Zhou, Xiaoyu, 2019. "Can auctions select people by their level-k types?," MPRA Paper 95987, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. 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.
    14. Agranov, Marina & Potamites, Elizabeth & Schotter, Andrew & Tergiman, Chloe, 2012. "Beliefs and endogenous cognitive levels: An experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 449-463.
    15. Choo, Lawrence C.Y & Kaplan, Todd R., 2014. "Explaining Behavior in the "11-20" Game," MPRA Paper 52808, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Wright, James R. & Leyton-Brown, Kevin, 2017. "Predicting human behavior in unrepeated, simultaneous-move games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 16-37.
    17. Bayer, R.-C. & Renou, Ludovic, 2016. "Logical abilities and behavior in strategic-form games," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 39-59.
    18. Burnham, Terence C. & Cesarini, David & Wallace, Björn & Johannesson, Magnus & Lichtenstein, Paul, 2007. "Billiards and Brains: Cognitive Ability and Behavior in a p-Beauty Contest," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 684, Stockholm School of Economics.
    19. Despoina Alempaki & Andrew M Colman & Felix Koelle & Graham Loomes & Briony D Pulford, 2019. "Investigating the failure to best respond in experimental games," Discussion Papers 2019-13, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    20. Carlos Alós-Ferrer & Johannes Buckenmaier, 2018. "Cognitive sophistication and deliberation times," ECON - Working Papers 292, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Apr 2019.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    cognition; bounded rationality; beliefs; guessing games; experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • 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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2007-092. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.wiwiss.uni-jena.de/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Markus Pasche (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.wiwiss.uni-jena.de/ .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.