Hi everyone,

There will be a special meeting of the Seminar in Logic and Games this Friday (this is the only seminar meeting this Friday).

Regards,

Jonas Reitz

Seminar in Logic and Games

Friday, December 16, 4:15 PM

Graduate Center room 4419

Eric Pacuit (CMU and Tilburg)

Thinking about how to play: modeling strategic reasoning

Abstract: How do rational (or not-so rational) players decide what to do in a

strategic situation? This has both a normative component (What are the normative

principles that guide the players’ decision making?) and a descriptive component (Which

psychological phenomena best explain discrepancies between predicted and observed

behavior in game situations?). A fundamental assumption in many game-theoretic models

is that rational players must take into account the fact that the players reason about

each other in deciding how to play. Exactly how the players (should) incorporate the

fact that they are interacting with other (actively reasoning) agents into their own

decision making process is the subject of much debate.

One approach to this question is found in the literature on the epistemic foundations

of solution concepts. The key idea here is to explicitly describe the “informational

context” of a game situation (what the players think each other will do, think each

other thinks each other will do, and so on) and then derive the fact that the players’

choices adhere to a given solution concept from an epistemic property (eg., common

belief of rationality). But, a question still remains: How do the players arrive at a

particular informational context?

We propose a general framework to analyze how such contexts may arise. The idea is to

view informational contexts as the fixed-points of iterated, “rational responses” to

incoming information about the agents’ possible choices. We show general conditions

for the stabilization of such sequences of rational responses, in terms of structural

properties of both the decision rule and the information update policy.

I will conclude with some general comments about the role of *deliberation* in rational

choice theory and game theory.

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