Testing the level of consistency between choices and beliefs in games using eye-tracking

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Abstract

We use eye-tracking to identify possible causes of inconsistency between choices and beliefs in games. Participants play a series of two-player 3×3 one-shot games (choice task) and state their beliefs about which actions they expect their counterpart to play (belief elicitation task). We use a model-based clustering method to group participants according to the pattern of visual analysis they use to make their decisions in the two tasks. We find that heterogeneity in the lookup patterns reflects the adoption of different models of choice. Our results suggest that there are two main reasons why participants do not best respond to their beliefs in games. First, many of them take into account the incentives of the counterpart when stating their beliefs, but not when choosing their actions. Second, some participants have other-regarding preferences and attempt to find a cooperative solution of the game.

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Polonio, L., & Coricelli, G. (2019). Testing the level of consistency between choices and beliefs in games using eye-tracking. Games and Economic Behavior, 113, 566–586. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geb.2018.11.003

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