Using response times to measure strategic complexity and the value of thinking in games / David Gill (Purdue University and IZA), Victoria Prowse (Purdue University and IZA) ; IZA, Institute of Labor Economics
VerfasserGill, David ; Prowse, Victoria
KörperschaftForschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit
ErschienenBonn, Germany : IZA Institute of Labor Economics, January 2017
Elektronische Ressource
Umfang1 Online-Ressource (15, 4 Seiten) : Diagramme
SerieDiscussion paper ; no. 10518
 Das Dokument ist öffentlich zugänglich im Rahmen des deutschen Urheberrechts.
Using response times to measure strategic complexity and the value of thinking in games [0.43 mb]
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Response times are a simple low-cost indicator of the process of reasoning in strategic games (Rubinstein, 2007; Rubinstein, 2016). We leverage the dynamic nature of responsetime data from repeated strategic interactions to measure the strategic complexity of a situation by how long people think on average when they face that situation (where we define situations according to the characteristics of play in the previous round). We find that strategic complexity varies significantly across situations, and we find considerable heterogeneity in how responsive subjects thinking times are to complexity. We also study how variation in response times at the individual level across rounds affects strategic behavior and success. We find that ‘overthinking is detrimental to performance: when a subject thinks for longer than she would normally do in a particular situation, she wins less frequently and earns less. The behavioral mechanism that drives the reduction in performance is a tendency to move away from Nash equilibrium behavior.