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An eye-tracking study of feature-based choice in one-shot games

  • Giovanna Devetag
  • Sibilla Di Guida
  • Luca Polonio

We analyze subjects' eye movements while they make decisions in a series of one-shot games. The majority of them perform a partial and selective analysis of the payoff matrix, often ignoring the payoffs of the opponent and/or paying attention only to specific cells. Our results suggest that subjects apply boundedly rational decision heuristics that involve best responding to a simplification of the decision problem, obtained either by ignoring the other players' motivations or by considering them only for a subset of outcomes. Finally, we find a correlation between types of eye movements observed and choices in the games.

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Paper provided by Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy in its series LEM Papers Series with number 2013/05.

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Date of creation: 13 Feb 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2013/05
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  1. Giovanna Devetag & Sibilla Di Guida, 2010. "Feature-based Choice and Similarity in Normal-form Games: An Experimental Study," LEM Papers Series 2010/18, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  2. Maria Giovanna Devetag & Massimo Warglien, 2002. "Games and phone numbers: do short term memory bounds affect strategic behavior?," CEEL Working Papers 0211, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
  3. Miguel A. Costa-Gomes & Georg Weizs´┐Żcker, 2008. "Stated Beliefs and Play in Normal-Form Games," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 729-762.
  4. Johnson, Eric J. & Camerer, Colin & Sen, Sankar & Rymon, Talia, 2002. "Detecting Failures of Backward Induction: Monitoring Information Search in Sequential Bargaining," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 16-47, May.
  5. Bacharach, Michael, 1999. "Interactive team reasoning: A contribution to the theory of co-operation," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 117-147, June.
  6. Shane Frederick, 2005. "Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 25-42, Fall.
  7. Rydval, Ondrej & Ortmann, Andreas & Ostatnicky, Michal, 2009. "Three very simple games and what it takes to solve them," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 589-601, October.
  8. Bacharach, Michael & Bernasconi, Michele, 1997. "The Variable Frame Theory of Focal Points: An Experimental Study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 1-45, April.
  9. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
  10. Joseph Tao-yi Wang & Michael Spezio & Colin F. Camerer, 2006. "Pinocchio's Pupil: Using Eyetracking and Pupil Dilation to Understand Truth-telling and Deception in Games," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000042, UCLA Department of Economics.
  11. Nagel, Rosemarie, 1995. "Unraveling in Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1313-26, December.
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