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Are People in Groups More Farsighted than Individuals?


  • John Bone
  • John Hey
  • John Suckling


A dynamic decision making experiment recently conducted on individuals suggested that people may look ahead but seem either unable or unwilling to predict their own future behaviour. In order to distinguish between these two possibilities, we repeated the experiment with pairs of individuals. The experiment consisted of two decision nodes (interleaved with two chance nodes), with one of the pair choosing at the first decision node and the second of the pair choosing at the second. Given the structure of the experiment, it was simple for the first player to predict the decisions of the second player. Nevertheless, the decisions of the first player indicate strongly that the first player does not in fact do so. It seems that people are unwilling to predict not only their own future behaviour but also the future behaviour of others.

Suggested Citation

  • John Bone & John Hey & John Suckling, "undated". "Are People in Groups More Farsighted than Individuals?," Discussion Papers 05/06, Department of Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:yorken:05/06

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Roth, Alvin E & Murnighan, J Keith, 1982. "The Role of Information in Bargaining: An Experimental Study," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1123-1142, September.
    2. Cox, James C. & Friedman, Daniel & Gjerstad, Steven, 2007. "A tractable model of reciprocity and fairness," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 17-45, April.
    3. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
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    More about this item


    Planning; prediction; dynamic decision making; pairs; individuals;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis

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