Playing strategically against nature? – Decisions viewed from a game-theoretic frame
Common research on decision-making investigates non-interdependent situations, i.e., “games against nature”. However, humans are social beings and many decisions are made in social settings, where they mutually influence each other, i.e., “strategic games”. Mathematical game theory gives a benchmark for rational decisions in such situations. The strategic character makes psychological decision-making more complex by introducing the outcomes for others as an additional attribute of that situation; it also broadens the field for potential coordination and cooperation problems. From an evolutionary point of view, behavior in strategic situations was at a competitive edge. This paper demonstrates that even in games against nature, people sometimes decide as if they were in a strategic game; it outlines theoretical and empirical consequences of such a shift of the frame. It examines whether some irrationalities of human decision-making might be explained by such a shift in grasping the situation. It concludes that the mixed strategies in games against nature demand a high expertise and can only be found in situations where these strategies improve the effects of minimax-strategies that are used in cases of risk-aversion.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2008|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10 - D- 53113 Bonn|
Phone: +49-(0)228 / 91416-0
Fax: +49-(0)228 / 91416-55
Web page: http://www.coll.mpg.de/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Mark Walker & John Wooders, 2001. "Minimax Play at Wimbledon," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1521-1538, December.
- Heinemann, Frank & Nagel, Rosemarie & Ockenfels, Peter, 2004.
"Measuring Strategic Uncertainty in Coordination Games,"
Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems
6, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
- Frank Heinemann & Rosemarie Nagel & Peter Ockenfels, 2009. "Measuring Strategic Uncertainty in Coordination Games," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(1), pages 181-221.
- Frank Heinemann & Rosemarie Nagel & Peter Ockenfels, 2004. "Measuring Strategic Uncertainty in Coordination Games," CESifo Working Paper Series 1364, CESifo Group Munich.
- Frank Heinemann & Rosemarie Nagel & Peter Ockenfels, 2004. "Measuring strategic uncertainty in coordination games," Economics Working Papers 804, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
- Ariel Rubinstein, 2006.
"Instinctive and Cognitive Reasoning: A Study of Response Times,"
1424, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Ariel Rubinstein, 2007. "Instinctive and Cognitive Reasoning: A Study of Response Times," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(523), pages 1243-1259, October.
- Ariel Rubinstein, 2006. "Instinctive and Cognitive Reasoning: A Study of Response Times," Working Papers 2006.36, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
- Erev, Ido & Roth, Alvin E, 1998. "Predicting How People Play Games: Reinforcement Learning in Experimental Games with Unique, Mixed Strategy Equilibria," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 848-81, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2008_34. 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: (Marc Martin)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.