A Survey of Psychological Games: Theoretical Findings and Experimental Evidence

LERNA, University of Toulouse, Working Papers 01/2008;
Source: RePEc


I modify the uniform-price auction rules in allowing the seller to ration bidders. This allows me to provide a strategic foundation for underpricing when the seller has an interest in ownership dispersion. Moreover, many of the so-called "collusive-seeming" equilibria disappear.

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Available from: Giuseppe Attanasi,
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    • "This implies, unfortunately, that the desire to meet others' empirical expectations cannot but be a form of altruism after all. If one gives some weight in one's own decision making on whether some stranger, as a consequence of one's violation, achieves less than what he or she expected to, then this belief-dependent motivation is just another kind of social preference for the stranger's welfare (Attanasi and Nagel, 2008). There is, however, also another way to understand this motivation to behave as expected. "
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    ABSTRACT: Three main motivations can explain compliance with social norms: fear of peer punishment, the desire for others’ esteem and the desire to meet others’ expectations. Though all play a role, only the desire to meet others’ expectations can sustain compliance when neither public nor private monitoring is possible. Theoretical models have shown that such desire can indeed sustain social norms, but empirical evidence is lacking. Moreover it is unclear whether this desire ranges over others’ “empirical” or “normative” expectations. We propose a new experimental design to isolate this motivation and to investigate what expectations people are inclined to meet. Results indicate that, when nobody can assign either material or immaterial sanctions, the perceived legitimacy of others’ normative expectations can motivate a significant number of people to comply with costly social norms.
    Frontiers in Psychology 10/2015; 6. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01413 · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    • "Related literature Our model …nds its intellectual home in the theory of psychological games, that is, the analysis of games with belief-dependent preferences (Geanakoplos et al. 1989, Battigalli & Dufwenberg 2009, see also the introductory surveys by Dufwenberg 2006 and Attanasi & Nagel 2008). To our knowledge, this is one of the very few papers analyzing a psychological game with incomplete information, and the only one with a Bayesian equilibrium analysis of guilt aversion. "
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    ABSTRACT: In the theory of psychological games it is assumed that players' preferences on material consequences depend on endogenous beliefs. Most of the applications of this theoretical framework assume that the psychological utility functions representing such preferences are common knowledge. But this is often unrealistic. In particular, it cannot be true in experimental games where players are subjects drawn at random from a population. Therefore an incomplete-information methodology is called for. We take a first step in this direction, focusing on models of guilt aversion in the Trust Game. We consider two alternative modeling assumptions: (i) guilt aversion depends on the role played in the game, because only the "trustee" can feel guilt for letting the co-player down, (ii) guilt aversion is independent of the role played in the game. We show how the set of Bayesian equilibria changes as the upper bound on guilt sensitivity varies, and we compare this with the complete-information case. Our analysis illustrates the incomplete-information approach to psychological games and can help organize experimental results in the Trust Game. JEL classification: C72, C91, D03. Keywords: Psychological games, Trust Game, guilt, incomplete information.
    SSRN Electronic Journal 07/2013; DOI:10.2139/ssrn.2291233
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    • "(e.g. Dufwenberg & Gneezy 2000, Charness & Dufwenberg 2004, Attanasi & Nagel 2007, Dana et al 2006, Tadelis 2007). Our framework allows for (1), but it focuses on (2). "

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