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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Fatal Attraction: Focality, Naivete and Sophistication in Experimental “Hide and Seek” Games

  • Author(s): Crawford, Vincent P.
  • Iriberri, Nagore
  • et al.

"Hide-and-Seek" games are zero-sum two-person games in which one player wins by matching the other's decision and the other wins by mismatching. Although such games are often played on cultural or geographic "landscapes" that frame decisions non-neutrally, equilibrium ignores such framing. This paper reconsiders the results of experiments by Rubinstein, Tversky, and others whose designs model non-neutral landscapes, in which subjects deviated systematically from equilibrium in response to them. Comparing alternative explanations theoretically and econometrically suggests that the deviations are best explained by a structural non-equilibrium model of initial responses based on "level-k" thinking, suitably adapted to non-neutral landscapes.

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