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A Popperian test of level-k theory

Author

Listed:
  • Shaun Hargreaves Heap

    (University of East Anglia)

  • David Rojo Arjona

    (Chapman University)

  • Robert Sugden

    (University of East Anglia)

Abstract

We report an experimental test of level-k theory, applied to three simple games with non-neutral frames: Coordination, Discoordination and Hide and Seek. Using the same frame for all three games, we derive hypotheses that apply across the games and are independent of prior assumptions about salience. Those hypotheses are not confirmed by our experimental results. Our findings contrast with previous research which has fitted parameterised level-k models to Hide and Seek data. We show that, as a theory-testing criterion, the existence of a plausible model that replicates the main patterns in these data has a high probability of false positives.

Suggested Citation

  • Shaun Hargreaves Heap & David Rojo Arjona & Robert Sugden, 2012. "A Popperian test of level-k theory," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 12-06, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  • Handle: RePEc:uea:wcbess:12-06
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    File URL: http://www.uea.ac.uk/documents/166500/0/CBESS-12-06/15a3d3da-de61-4fd8-b787-bd5025a43dc1
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Vincent P. Crawford & Uri Gneezy & Yuval Rottenstreich, 2008. "The Power of Focal Points Is Limited: Even Minute Payoff Asymmetry May Yield Large Coordination Failures," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1443-1458, September.
    2. Nicholas Bardsley & Judith Mehta & Chris Starmer & Robert Sugden, 2010. "Explaining Focal Points: Cognitive Hierarchy Theory "versus" Team Reasoning," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(543), pages 40-79, March.
    3. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1999. "Experience from a Course in Game Theory: Pre- and Postclass Problem Sets as a Didactic Device," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 155-170, July.
    4. Nagel, Rosemarie, 1995. "Unraveling in Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1313-1326, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cyril H├ędoin & Lauren Larrouy, 2016. "Game Theory, Institutions and the Schelling-Bacharach Principle: Toward an Empirical Social Ontology," GREDEG Working Papers 2016-21, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    level-k theory; Popper; Hide and Seek; coordination; discoordination;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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