Special Issue "Psychological Aspects of Strategic Choice"

A special issue of Games (ISSN 2073-4336).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 September 2015).

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Andrew M. Colman Website E-Mail
School of Psychology, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
Interests: judgment and decision making; game theory; experimental games; cooperative reasoning; evolution of cooperation
Co-Guest Editor
Dr. Briony D. Pulford Website E-Mail
School of Psychology, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
Interests: overconfidence; uncertainty; the communication and perception of confidence; cooperation; team reasoning; ambiguity aversion

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This special issue of GAMES is devoted to investigations of psychological factors affecting strategy choices in social dilemmas and other games. Ever since psychologists began studying experimental games in the 1950s, it has been clear that human decision makers do not follow the prescriptions of normative game theory. From the late 1980s, behavioral game theory has reinforced this early finding and has contributed numerous hypotheses about the psychological processes underlying human strategic choice. Understanding and explaining strategic choice are among the most important problems in the behavioral and social sciences. Clearly written manuscripts reporting new evidence or theory are potentially suitable for the special issue. The keywords below are merely indicative.

Prof. Andrew M. Colman
Dr. Briony D. Pulford
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Games is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • altruism
  • cognitive hierarchy theory
  • inequality aversion
  • reciprocity
  • social value orientation
  • Stackelberg reasoning
  • team reasoning

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Psychology of Game Playing: Introduction to a Special Issue
Games 2015, 6(4), 677-684; https://doi.org/10.3390/g6040677 - 21 Dec 2015
Cited by 2
Abstract
Game theory has focused attention on different problems at different times in its history. Currently, attention is devoted to investigating how human decision makers with bounded rationality choose strategies in interactive decisions. Behavioral economics, and more generally experimental games, have appeared in the [...] Read more.
Game theory has focused attention on different problems at different times in its history. Currently, attention is devoted to investigating how human decision makers with bounded rationality choose strategies in interactive decisions. Behavioral economics, and more generally experimental games, have appeared in the literature with accelerating frequency since 1990, and this cannot continue indefinitely without a proportional expansion of journal space. This Special Issue includes contributions to behavioral economics, experimental games, and evolutionary game theory, using theoretical, experimental, and agent-based modeling techniques. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychological Aspects of Strategic Choice)
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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Evidential Equilibria: Heuristics and Biases in Static Games of Complete Information
Games 2015, 6(4), 637-676; https://doi.org/10.3390/g6040637 - 16 Nov 2015
Cited by 8
Abstract
Standard equilibrium concepts in game theory find it difficult to explain the empirical evidence from a large number of static games, including the prisoners’ dilemma game, the hawk-dove game, voting games, public goods games and oligopoly games. Under uncertainty about what others will [...] Read more.
Standard equilibrium concepts in game theory find it difficult to explain the empirical evidence from a large number of static games, including the prisoners’ dilemma game, the hawk-dove game, voting games, public goods games and oligopoly games. Under uncertainty about what others will do in one-shot games, evidence suggests that people often use evidential reasoning (ER), i.e., they assign diagnostic significance to their own actions in forming beliefs about the actions of other like-minded players. This is best viewed as a heuristic or bias relative to the standard approach. We provide a formal theoretical framework that incorporates ER into static games by proposing evidential games and the relevant solution concept: evidential equilibrium (EE). We derive the relation between a Nash equilibrium and an EE. We illustrate these concepts in the context of the prisoners’ dilemma game. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychological Aspects of Strategic Choice)
Open AccessArticle
The Role of Implicit Motives in Strategic Decision-Making: Computational Models of Motivated Learning and the Evolution of Motivated Agents
Games 2015, 6(4), 604-636; https://doi.org/10.3390/g6040604 - 12 Nov 2015
Cited by 7
Abstract
Individual behavioral differences in humans have been linked to measurable differences in their mental activities, including differences in their implicit motives. In humans, individual differences in the strength of motives such as power, achievement and affiliation have been shown to have a significant [...] Read more.
Individual behavioral differences in humans have been linked to measurable differences in their mental activities, including differences in their implicit motives. In humans, individual differences in the strength of motives such as power, achievement and affiliation have been shown to have a significant impact on behavior in social dilemma games and during other kinds of strategic interactions. This paper presents agent-based computational models of power-, achievement- and affiliation-motivated individuals engaged in game-play. The first model captures learning by motivated agents during strategic interactions. The second model captures the evolution of a society of motivated agents. It is demonstrated that misperception, when it is a result of motivation, causes agents with different motives to play a given game differently. When motivated agents who misperceive a game are present in a population, higher explicit payoff can result for the population as a whole. The implications of these results are discussed, both for modeling human behavior and for designing artificial agents with certain salient behavioral characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychological Aspects of Strategic Choice)
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Open AccessArticle
Salience and Strategy Choice in 2 × 2 Games
Games 2015, 6(4), 521-559; https://doi.org/10.3390/g6040521 - 23 Oct 2015
Cited by 1
Abstract
We present a model of boundedly rational play in single-shot 2 × 2 games. Players choose strategies based on the perceived salience of their own payoffs and, if own-payoff salience is uninformative, on the perceived salience of their opponent’s payoffs. When own payoffs [...] Read more.
We present a model of boundedly rational play in single-shot 2 × 2 games. Players choose strategies based on the perceived salience of their own payoffs and, if own-payoff salience is uninformative, on the perceived salience of their opponent’s payoffs. When own payoffs are salient, the model’s predictions correspond to those of Level-1 players in a cognitive hierarchy model. When it is the other player’s payoffs that are salient, the predictions of the model correspond to those of traditional game theory. The model provides unique predictions for the entire class of 2 × 2 games. It identifies games where a Nash equilibrium will always occur, ones where it will never occur, and ones where it will occur only for certain payoff values. It also predicts the outcome of games for which there are no pure Nash equilibria. Experimental results supporting these predictions are presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychological Aspects of Strategic Choice)
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Open AccessArticle
Competitive Centipede Games: Zero-End Payoffs and Payoff Inequality Deter Reciprocal Cooperation
Games 2015, 6(3), 262-272; https://doi.org/10.3390/g6030262 - 18 Aug 2015
Cited by 8
Abstract
Reciprocal cooperation can be studied in the Centipede game, in which two players alternate in choosing between a cooperative GO move and a non-cooperative STOP move. GO sustains the interaction and increases the player pair’s total payoff while incurring a small personal cost; [...] Read more.
Reciprocal cooperation can be studied in the Centipede game, in which two players alternate in choosing between a cooperative GO move and a non-cooperative STOP move. GO sustains the interaction and increases the player pair’s total payoff while incurring a small personal cost; STOP terminates the interaction with a favorable payoff to the defector. We investigated cooperation in four Centipede games differing in their payoffs at the game’s end (positive versus zero) and payoff difference between players (moderate versus high difference). The games shared the same game-theoretic solution, therefore they should have elicited identical decision patterns, according to orthodox game theory. Nevertheless, both zero-end payoffs and high payoff inequality were found to reduce cooperation significantly. Contrary to previous predictions, combining these two factors in one game resulted in a slight weakening of their independent deterrent effects. These findings show that small changes in the payoff function have large and significant effects on cooperation, and that the effects do not combine synergistically. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychological Aspects of Strategic Choice)
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Open AccessArticle
Unfazed by Both the Bull and Bear: Strategic Exploration in Dynamic Environments
Games 2015, 6(3), 251-261; https://doi.org/10.3390/g6030251 - 18 Aug 2015
Cited by 2
Abstract
People in a changing environment must decide between exploiting options they currently favor and exploring alternative options that provide additional information about the state of the environment. For example, drivers must decide between purchasing gas at their currently favored station (i.e., [...] Read more.
People in a changing environment must decide between exploiting options they currently favor and exploring alternative options that provide additional information about the state of the environment. For example, drivers must decide between purchasing gas at their currently favored station (i.e., exploit) or risk a fruitless trip to another station to evaluate whether the price has been lowered since the last visit. Previous laboratory studies on exploratory choice have found that people choose strategically and explore alternative options when it is more likely that the relative value of competing options has changed. Our study extends this work by considering how global trends (which affect all options equally) influence exploratory choice. For example, during an economic crisis, global gas prices may increase or decrease at all stations, yet consumers should still explore strategically to find the best option. Our research question is whether people can maintain effective exploration strategies in the presence of global trends that are irrelevant in that they do not affect the relative value of choice options. We find that people explore effectively irrespective of global trends. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychological Aspects of Strategic Choice)
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