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Cognition and Behavior in Two-Person Guessing Games: An Experimental Study

  • Author(s): Costa-Gomes, Miguel A.
  • Crawford, Vincent P.
  • et al.
Abstract

This paper reports experiments that elicit subjects' initial responses to 16 dominance-solvable two-person guessing games. The structure is publicly announced except for varying payoff parameters, to which subjects are given free access, game by game, through an interface that records their information searches. Varying the parameters allows strong separation of the behavior implied by leading decision rules and makes monitoring search a powerful tool for studying cognition. Many subjects' decisions and searches show clearly that they understand the games and seek to maximize their payoffs, but have boundedly rational models of others' decisions, which lead to systematic deviations from equilibrium.

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