Eric Johnson

“Thinking About Attention in Games: Backward and Forward Induction”

Coauthor(s): C. Camerer.

Editors: I. Brocas and J. Carillo

This chapter discusses how recording the information people seek in games can permit sharp inference about what goes on inside the black box (the brain), and can therefore inform theories about why people behave the way they do.

Until recently, experimental economics was strongly influenced by the tradition of identifying unobserved (latent) utilities with choices, or revealed preferences. This tradition focuses attention on only one type of data from decisionૼthe observed choice. Looking only at choices is scientifically efficient because many other aspects of cognition can be measured; and these other measures can be used to dinstingish between alternative theories which can account for observed choices equally well. Indeed, as economists have become more interested in evolutionary and behavioral approaches, the number of theoretical alternative accounts hasincreased. The "process data" described in this chapter help by providing a richer set of data which allows us to sort through alternative explanations more quickly.

Source: The Psychology of Economic Decisions
Exact Citation:
Camerer, C. F., and Eric Johnson. "Thinking About Attention in Games: Backward and Forward Induction." In The Psychology of Economic Decisions. Ed. I. Brocas and J. Carillo. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.
Place: New York
Date: 2004