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Belief Formation in a Signalling Game without Common Prior: An Experiment

  • Alex Possajennikov


    (School of Economics, University of Nottingham)

Using belief elicitation, the paper investigates the formation and the evolution of beliefs in a signalling game in which a common prior on Sender's type is not induced. Beliefs are elicited about the type of the Sender and about the strategies of the players. The experimental subjects often start with di use uniform beliefs and update them in view of observations. However, the speed of updating is in uenced by the strength of the initial beliefs. An interesting result is that beliefs about strategies are updated faster than beliefs about types. In the medium run, for some speci cations of game parameters, this leads to outcomes being significantly different from the outcomes of the game in which a common prior is induced. It is also shown that elicitation of beliefs does not considerably change the pattern of play.

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Paper provided by The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham in its series Discussion Papers with number 2012-06.

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Date of creation: Jun 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:not:notcdx:2012-06
Contact details of provider: Postal: School of Economics University of Nottingham University Park Nottingham NG7 2RD
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  1. Miguel A. Costa-Gomes & Georg Weizsäcker, 2004. "Stated Beliefs and Play in Normal-Form Games," ISER Discussion Paper 0614, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  2. Hans-Werner Sinn, 1980. "A Rehabilitation of the Principle of Insufficient Reason," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(3), pages 493-506.
  3. Palfrey, Thomas R. & Wang, Stephanie W., . "On eliciting beliefs in strategic games," Working Papers 1271, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  4. Rutstrom, E. Elizabet & Wilcox, Nathaniel, 2008. "Stated versus inferred beliefs: A methodological inquiry and experimental test," MPRA Paper 11852, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Drouvelis, Michalis & Müller, Wieland & Possajennikov, Alex, 2012. "Signaling without a common prior: Results on experimental equilibrium selection," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 102-119.
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