Measuring Attention and Strategic Behavior in Games with Private Information

53 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2009

See all articles by Isabelle Brocas

Isabelle Brocas

University of Southern California - Department of Economics

Colin Camerer

California Institute of Technology - Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Juan D. Carrillo

University of Southern California - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Stephanie W. Wang

California Institute of Technology - Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 2009

Abstract

In experiments, people do not always appear to think very strategically or to infer the information of others from their choices. To understand this thinking process further, we use "Mousetracking" to record which game payoffs subjects look at, for how long, in games of private information with three information states, which vary in strategic complexity. Subjects often deviate from Nash equilibrium choices, converge only modestly toward equilibrium across 40 trials, and often fail to look at payoffs which they need to in order to compute an equilibrium response. Theories such as QRE and cursed equilibrium, which can explain non-equilibrium choices, are not well supported by the combination of both choices and lookups. When cluster analysis is used to group subjects according to lookup patterns and choices, the clusters appear to correspond approximately to level-3, level-2 and level-1 thinking in level-k cognitive hierarchy models. The connection between looking and choices is strong enough that the time durations of looking at key payoffs can predict choices, to some extent, at the individual level and at the trial-by-trial level.

Keywords: asymmetric information, attention, laboratory experiment, mousetracking

JEL Classification: C92, D82

Suggested Citation

Brocas, Isabelle and Camerer, Colin F. and Carrillo, Juan D. and Wang, Stephanie W., Measuring Attention and Strategic Behavior in Games with Private Information (November 2009). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP7529, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1507525

Isabelle Brocas (Contact Author)

University of Southern California - Department of Economics ( email )

3022 S. Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States
213-740-8842 (Phone)
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HOME PAGE: http://www-rcf.usc.edu/~brocas/

Colin F. Camerer

California Institute of Technology - Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences ( email )

1200 East California Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91125
United States
626-395-4054 (Phone)
626-432-1726 (Fax)

Juan D. Carrillo

University of Southern California - Department of Economics ( email )

3022 S. Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States
213-740-3526 (Phone)
213-740-8543 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Stephanie W. Wang

California Institute of Technology - Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences ( email )

1200 East California Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91125
United States

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