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Homo Sapiens Sapiens Meets Homo Strategicus at the Laboratory

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  • Ludovic Renou

    ()

  • Ralph C. Bayer

    ()

Abstract

Homo Strategicus populates the vast plains of Game Theory. He knows all logical implications of his knowledge (logical omniscience) and chooses optimal strategies given his knowledge and beliefs (rationality). This paper investigates the extent to which the logical capabilities of Homo Sapiens Sapiens resemble those possessed by Homo Strategicus. Controlling for other-regarding preferences and beliefs about the rationality of others, we show, in the laboratory, that the ability of Homo Sapiens Sapiens to perform complex chains of iterative reasoning is much better than previously thought. Subjects were able to perform about two to three iterations of reasoning on average.

Suggested Citation

  • Ludovic Renou & Ralph C. Bayer, 2008. "Homo Sapiens Sapiens Meets Homo Strategicus at the Laboratory," Discussion Papers in Economics 08/16, Department of Economics, University of Leicester, revised Nov 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:lec:leecon:08/16
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    File URL: http://www.le.ac.uk/economics/research/RePEc/lec/leecon/dp08-16.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Barton L. Lipman, 1999. "Decision Theory without Logical Omniscience: Toward an Axiomatic Framework for Bounded Rationality," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(2), pages 339-361.
    2. Ralph-C. Bayer & Mickey Chan, 2007. "The Dirty Faces Game Revisited," School of Economics Working Papers 2007-01, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
    3. Battigalli, Pierpaolo & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2009. "Dynamic psychological games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 1-35, January.
    4. Dufwenberg, Martin & Sundaram, Ramya & Butler, David J., 2010. "Epiphany in the Game of 21," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 132-143, August.
    5. Ho, Teck-Hua & Camerer, Colin & Weigelt, Keith, 1998. "Iterated Dominance and Iterated Best Response in Experimental "p-Beauty Contests."," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 947-969, September.
    6. Adam Brandenburger & Amanda Friedenberg & H. Jerome Keisler, 2014. "Admissibility in Games," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: The Language of Game Theory Putting Epistemics into the Mathematics of Games, chapter 7, pages 161-212 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    7. Nagel, Rosemarie, 1995. "Unraveling in Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1313-1326, December.
    8. Susana Cabrera & C. Capra & Rosario Gómez, 2007. "Behavior in one-shot traveler’s dilemma games: model and experiments with advice," Spanish Economic Review, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 129-152, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Renou, Ludovic & Schlag, Karl H., 2010. "Minimax regret and strategic uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(1), pages 264-286, January.
    2. Bayer, Ralph-C., 2010. "Intertemporal price discrimination and competition," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 273-293, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    iterative reasoning; depth of reasoning; logical omniscience; rationality; experiments; other-regarding preferences;

    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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