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Title: Three novel games of information and competition : exploring human strategic reasoning
Author: Vandendriessche, Tim
ISNI:       0000 0004 7227 9303
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis introduces three novel competitive games that fill the gaps between games of perfect information and games of imperfect information. Each game has a common underlying structure with small, but crucial, differences. Concretely, each game has trials in which dominance should be respected and trials where trickery attempts are possible. Furthermore, we focus on risk attitude (Envelope Game); explore reasoning processes through verbal protocols (Transfer Game); and assess the effects of additional information (Suitcase Game). Behavioural experiments show that even these simple games are cognitively very challenging and that behaviour often deviates from the predictions of popular frameworks. The main contributions from this thesis are (a) the creation of three novel games that help fill the gaps between perfect information and imperfect information; and (b) the exploration of these games and their implications. Findings from the first experiment indicate a linear relationship between the willingness to transfer value from Option A to Option B and a higher initial value for Option A. We also found that decision times for player one reflect which choices he contemplates whilst decision time for player two does not relate to her choices. Finally, most participants are assessed as risk averse. When larger amounts are involved a risk averse player one more strongly desires to transfer value compared with a non-averse player one; but we do not find any behavioural differences for player two. From our second experiment we learn that participants are often not consistent in their reasoning and behaviour across trials. Despite the simplicity of the game we observe many violations of dominance. Furthermore, participants do not strongly adhere to a specific framework. Using verbal protocols we learn about the reasoning that is used to make decisions. This procedure also identified a weakness of the design: participants often consider small amounts irrelevant (since they barely affect payoffs). Our third experiment focuses on the effect of additional knowledge. We find evidence that equal divisions are made more frequently when additional knowledge is provided and that participants attempt to trick their opponents. Furthermore, we explore whether heuristics can explain behaviour since frameworks are often too precise or make ‘random behaviour’ predictions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HB Economic Theory