nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2015‒08‒13
three papers chosen by

  1. Who knows it is a game? On strategic awareness and cognitive ability By Fehr, Dietmar; Huck, Steffen
  2. Comparing Decisions under Compound Risk and Ambiguity: The Importance of Cognitive Skills By Sasha Prokosheva
  3. Let Bygones Be Bygones? Socialist Regimes and Personalities in Germany By Tim Friehe; Markus Pannenberg; Michael Wedow

  1. By: Fehr, Dietmar; Huck, Steffen
    Abstract: We introduce the notion of strategic awareness in experimental games which captures the idea that subjects realize they are playing a game and thus have to form beliefs about others' actions. The concept differs from both, rule understanding and rationality. We then turn to experimental evidence from a beauty contest game where we elicit measures of cognitive ability and beliefs about others' cognitive ability. We show that the effect of cognitive ability is highly non-linear. Subjects' behavior below a certain threshold choose numbers in the whole interval and does not correlate with beliefs about others ability. In contrast, choices of subjects who exceed the threshold avoid choices above 50 and react very sensitively to beliefs about others' cognitive ability.
    Abstract: In diesem kurzen Artikel führen wir das Konzept von strategic awareness in Experimenten ein. Dieses neue Konzept beschreibt die Fähigkeit von Experimentteilnehmer, strategische Situationen zu erkennen und daher Erwartungen über das Verhalten von anderen zu bilden. Das Konzept unterscheidet sich sowohl von Rationalität als auch vom bloßen Verstehen von den Regeln eines Experiments. Wir demonstrieren das Konzept empirisch mit Hilfe von Daten eines Beauty Contest Games, in dem wir die kognitiven Fähigkeiten der Teilnehmer und ihre Einschätzungen über die kognitiven Fähigkeiten der anderen Teilnehmer erheben. Die Resultate zeigen, dass kognitive Fähigkeiten einen starken nicht-linearen Effekt auf die Entscheidungen in dem Beauty Contest Game haben. Das Verhalten von Experimentteilnehmer, die unter einer bestimmten Schwelle liegen, kann nicht von zufälligen Entscheidungen unterschieden werden und korreliert auch nicht mit deren Einschätzung über die kognitiven Fähigkeiten der anderen Teilnehmer. Im Gegensatz dazu vermeiden Teilnehmer, die über dieser Schwelle liegen, dominierte Entscheidungen und basieren ihre Entscheidungen auf ihrer Einschätzung über die kognitiven Fähigkeiten der anderen Teilnehmer.
    Keywords: strategic awareness,cognitive ability,beauty contest
    JEL: C7 C9 D0
    Date: 2014
  2. By: Sasha Prokosheva
    Abstract: I investigate the relationship between attitudes towards ambiguity and ability to reduce compound risks. The evidence from an experiment on adolescents shows that patterns identified in the previous literature are susceptible to experimental design and subject sample characteristics. Overall for a 20% of my subject sample, I do not observe a significant relationship between ambiguity-neutral behavior and reduction of compound lotteries. The relationship also varies with subjects' cognitive skills and the way lotteries are presented. My results caution about theoretical studies which model ambiguity preferences by relaxing the assumption of compound risk reduction, and add to the evidence against the use of compound lotteries to represent ambiguity in experiments.
    Keywords: ambiguity; cognitive ability; reduction of compound lotteries;
    JEL: C91 D81
    Date: 2014–12
  3. By: Tim Friehe; Markus Pannenberg; Michael Wedow
    Abstract: This paper investigates the influence of political regimes on personality, using the separation of Germany into the socialist GDR and the democratic FRG and its reunification in 1990 as a natural experiment. We show that there are significant differences between former GDR and FRG residents regarding important attributes of personality (particularly the locus of control, neuroticism, conscientiousness, and openness). To understand the influence of the GDR's socialist regime on personality, we test an important channel by exploiting regional variation in the number of unofficial state-security collaborators across East German counties. Our results indicate that local surveillance intensity is indeed an important determinant of the personality of former GDR citizens. The differences in personality imply that former citizens of the GDR have economic prospects rather different from former FRG citizens and help to understand behavioral differences established in the prior literature.
    Keywords: personality, political regime, East Germany, socialism, Big Five, locus of control, SOEP
    JEL: D03 D12 D63
    Date: 2015

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