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Cognitive abilities and behavior in strategic-form games.

Author

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  • Ralph-C. Bayer

    ()

  • Ludovic Renou

    ()

Abstract

This paper investigates the relation between cognitive abilities and behavior in strategic-form games with the help of a novel experiment. The design allows us first to measure the cognitive abilities of subjects without confound and then to evaluate their impact on behaviour in strategic-from games. We find that subjects with better cognitive abilities show more sophisticated behavior and make better use of information on cognitive abilities and preferences of opponents. Although we do not find evidence for Nash behavior, observed behaviour is remarkably sophisticated, as almost 80% of subjects behave near optimal and outperform Nash behavior with respect to expected pay-offs.

Suggested Citation

  • Ralph-C. Bayer & Ludovic Renou, 2011. "Cognitive abilities and behavior in strategic-form games.," Discussion Papers in Economics 11/16, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  • Handle: RePEc:lec:leecon:11/16
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    File URL: http://www.le.ac.uk/economics/research/repec/lec/leecon/dp11-16.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. El-Gamal, Mahmoud A. & Grether, David M., 1995. "Are People Bayesian? Uncovering Behavioral Strategies," Working Papers 919, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Rey-Biel, Pedro, 2009. "Equilibrium play and best response to (stated) beliefs in normal form games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 572-585, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Duffy, Sean & Smith, John, 2011. "Cognitive load in the multi-player prisoner's dilemma game," MPRA Paper 30856, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Duffy, Sean & Naddeo, JJ & Owens, David & Smith, John, 2016. "Cognitive load and mixed strategies: On brains and minimax," MPRA Paper 71878, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Chen, Chia-Ching & Chiu, I-Ming & Smith, John & Yamada, Tetsuji, 2011. "Too smart to be selfish? Measures of intelligence, social preferences, and consistency," MPRA Paper 34438, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Duffy, Sean & Smith, John, 2014. "Cognitive load in the multi-player prisoner's dilemma game: Are there brains in games?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 47-56.
    5. Chen, Chia-Ching & Chiu, I-Ming & Smith, John & Yamada, Tetsuji, 2013. "Too smart to be selfish? Measures of cognitive ability, social preferences, and consistency," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 112-122.
    6. Chatterjee, Sidharta, 2011. "The Neuroeconomics of Learning and Information Processing; Applying Markov Decision Process," MPRA Paper 28883, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Allred, Sarah & Duffy, Sean & Smith, John, 2016. "Cognitive load and strategic sophistication," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 162-178.
    8. Juan M. Benito-Ostolaza & Penélope Hernández & Juan A. Sanchis-Llopis, 2015. "Are individuals with higher cognitive ability expected to play more strategically?," Working Papers 1507, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia.
    9. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    cognitive ability; behaviours; strategic-form games; experiments; preferences; sophistication;

    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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