ICES Seminar in Experimental Economics and Game Theory

The Hidden Games that Shape our Beliefs and Preferences

Friday, December 2, 2022 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EST
Vernon Smith Hall (formerly Metropolitan Building), 5183

ICES Seminar in Experimental Economics and Game Theory

The ICES Seminar in Experimental Economics and Game Theory of the Fall 2022 semester will feature:

Moshe Hoffman

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology and Harvard University

The Hidden Games that Shape our Beliefs and Preferences

 

 

Abstract

We will summarize the ideas from our book "hidden games", which lays out an approach to applying simple game theoretic models to understanding how our beliefs and preferences are shaped. Time permitting, we will summarize one or two such models, as well as some of the kinds of experiments we run to demonstrate the explanatory power of these models.
As the talk will hopefully make clear: The approach uses standard game theory tools, but the payoffs are interpreted as "primary rewards", and the optimization is presumed to stem from "model-free learning". The models are always simple and stylized, and usually involve either a reinterpretation of a standard game, or a minor twist to make it more applicable to our setting. The experiments typically focus on some unique comparative-static predictions, while trying to mantain psychological realism, so that we can claim to be tapping into a psychology developed in everyday contexts outside the lab. The result, we argue, is an approach that can help us scientifically explain all sorts of puzzling aspects of our beliefs and preferences.

Suggested Readings:
Here are some modeling papers (123), and some representative experimental papers (123), and the introductory chapters to our book, in case anyone wishes to read further, in advance of the talk.

 

For more information about the Seminar Series, please visit the Seminar Schedule homepage.

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