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The Doors of Perception

Author

Listed:
  • Gary Charness

    (Department of Economics, University of California, Santa Barbara)

  • Alessandro Sontuoso

    () (Philosophy, Politics and Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

We investigate how a player’s strategic behavior is affected by the set of notions she uses in thinking about the game, i.e., the “frame”. To do so, we consider matching games where two players are presented with a set of objects, from which each player must privately choose one (with the goal of matching the counterpart’s choice). We propose a behavioral theory positing that different player types are aware of different attributes of the strategy options, hence different frames; we then rationalize why differences in players’ frames may lead to differences in choice behavior. Unlike previous theories of framing, our model features an epistemic structure allowing for the case in which an individual learns new frames, given some initial unawareness (of the fact that her perception of attributes may be incomplete). To test our model, we introduce an experimental design in which we bring about different frames by manipulating subjects’ awareness of various attributes. The experimental results provide striking support for our theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Gary Charness & Alessandro Sontuoso, 2018. "The Doors of Perception," PPE Working Papers 0013, Philosophy, Politics and Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 25 Oct 2018.
  • Handle: RePEc:ppc:wpaper:0013
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    frames; focal points; unawareness; coordination games;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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