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Games 2013, 4(4), 776-794; doi:10.3390/g4040776
Article

Feature-Based Choice and Similarity Perception in Normal-Form Games: An Experimental Study

1,*  and 2
Received: 16 September 2013; in revised form: 5 December 2013 / Accepted: 12 December 2013 / Published: 18 December 2013
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Abstract: In this paper, we claim that agents confronting with new interactive situations apply behavioral heuristics that drastically reduce the problem complexity either by neglecting the other players’ incentives, or by restricting attention to subsets of “salient” outcomes. We postulate that these heuristics are sensitive to the manipulation of those features that can be modified without altering the (Nash) equilibrium structure of the game. We call these features “descriptive”. We test experimentally the effect of these descriptive features on both choice behavior and cross-game similarity perception. Analysis of individual choices confirms our hypotheses, and suggests that non-equilibrium choices may derive from simplified mental models of the game structure, rather than from heterogeneous beliefs or limited iterative thinking. In addition, subjects tend to behave similarly in games sharing similar descriptive features, regardless of their strategic structure.
Keywords: cross-game similarity; categorization; focal point; behavioral heuristic; individual behavior; one-shot game; response time cross-game similarity; categorization; focal point; behavioral heuristic; individual behavior; one-shot game; response time
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Di Guida, S.; Devetag, G. Feature-Based Choice and Similarity Perception in Normal-Form Games: An Experimental Study. Games 2013, 4, 776-794.

AMA Style

Di Guida S, Devetag G. Feature-Based Choice and Similarity Perception in Normal-Form Games: An Experimental Study. Games. 2013; 4(4):776-794.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Di Guida, Sibilla; Devetag, Giovanna. 2013. "Feature-Based Choice and Similarity Perception in Normal-Form Games: An Experimental Study." Games 4, no. 4: 776-794.


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