IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/oxf/wpaper/712.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Cognitive ability, character skills, and learning to play equilibrium: A level-k analysis

Author

Listed:
  • David Gill
  • Victoria Prowse

Abstract

In this paper we investigate how cognitive ability and character skills influence behavior, success and the evolution of play towards Nash equilibrium in repeated strategic interactions. We study behavior in a p-beauty contest experiment and find striking differences according to cognitive ability: more cognitively able subjects choose numbers closer to equilibrium, converge more frequently to equilibrium play and earn more even as behavior approaches the equilibrium prediction. To understand better how subjects with different cognitive abilities learn differently, we estimate a structural model of learning based on level-k reasoning. We find a systematic positive relationship between cognitive ability and levels; furthermore, the average level of more cognitively able subjects responds positively to the cognitive ability of their opponents, while the average level of less cognitively able subjects does not respond. Finally, we compare the influence of cognitive ability to that of character skills, and find that both cognition and personality affect behavior and learning. More agreeable and emotionally stable subjects perform better and learn faster, although the effect of cognitive ability on behavior is stronger than that of character skills.

Suggested Citation

  • David Gill & Victoria Prowse, 2014. "Cognitive ability, character skills, and learning to play equilibrium: A level-k analysis," Economics Series Working Papers 712, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:712
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/papers/13363/paper712.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Didier Fouarge & Trudie Schils & Andries de Grip, 2013. "Why do low-educated workers invest less in further training?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(18), pages 2587-2601, June.
    2. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
    3. Oliver Schnusenberg & Andrés Gallo, 2011. "On Cognitive Ability and Learning in a Beauty Contest," Journal for Economic Educators, Middle Tennessee State University, Business and Economic Research Center, vol. 11(1), pages 13-24, Summer.
    4. Al-Ubaydli, Omar & Jones, Garett & Weel, Jaap, 2010. "Patience, cognitive skill and coordination in the repeated stag hunt," MPRA Paper 27723, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Gneezy, Uri & Rustichini, Aldo & Vostroknutov, Alexander, 2010. "Experience and insight in the Race game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 144-155, August.
    6. Emrah Arbak & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2013. "Voluntary leadership: motivation and influence," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 40(3), pages 635-662, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cognitive ability; character skills; personality traits; level-k; bounded rationality; learning; convergence; non-equilbrium behavior; beauty contest; repeated games; structural modeling; theory of mind; intelligence; IQ; cognition; Raven test;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • 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:oxf:wpaper:712. 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: (Anne Pouliquen). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/sfeixuk.html .

    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 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.

    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.