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Games and economic behavior v.106, 2017년, pp.209 - 226   SSCI
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Applying “theory of mind”: Theory and experiments

Kimbrough, Erik O. (Smith Institute for Political Economy and Philosophy, Chapman University, One University Drive, Orange, CA, USA ) ; Robalino, Nikolaus (Rochester Institute of Technology, 92 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY, USA ) ; Robson, Arthur J. (Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC, Canada ) ;
  • 초록  

    Abstract We investigate our capacity to attribute preferences to others. This ability is intrinsic to game theory, and is a central component of “Theory of Mind”, perhaps the capstone of social cognition. This component of theory of mind allows individuals to learn more rapidly in strategic environments with an element of novelty. We show that the capacity to attribute preferences yields an advantage over less sophisticated approaches to strategic interaction (e.g. reinforcement learning) because it allows agents to extrapolate to novel circumstances information about counterparts' preferences that was learned previously. We report experiments investigating this capacity in extensive form games. We find significant learning of others' preferences, providing evidence for the presence and effectiveness of this aspect of theory of mind. Moreover, scores on survey measures of autism-spectrum tendencies are significant determinants of individual learning, so our notion of theory of mind is related to the notion as understood in psychology. Highlights We highlight the importance of an aspect of “theory of mind” called “theory of preferences”. Theory of preferences (ToP) is the ability to attribute preferences to others. Agents with ToP have a strategic advantage in environments with an element of novelty. Laboratory experiments confirm that individuals employ ToP. The extent of ToP in our experiments varies with measures of “theory of mind” used by psychologists.


  • 주제어

    Theory of mind .   Experiments .   Preferences.  

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