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Data from: Do people imitate when making decisions? - evidence from a spatial prisoners dilemma experiment

Citation

Grujic, Jelena; Lenaerts, Tom (2020), Data from: Do people imitate when making decisions? - evidence from a spatial prisoners dilemma experiment, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.7fq25s8

Abstract

How do people decide which action to take? This question is best answered using Game Theory, which has proposed a series of decision mechanisms that people potentially use. In network simulations, wherein games are repeated and payoff differences can be observed, those mechanisms rely often on imitation of successful behavior. Surprisingly, little to no evidence has been provided about whether, how and what people actually use to alter their actions in that context. By comparing two experimental treatments wherein participants play in a network the iterated Prisoner's Dilemma game, we aim to answer whether more successful actions are imitated. Whereas in the first treatment, participants have the possibility to use payoff differences in making their decision, the second treatment hinders such imitation as no information about the gains is provided. If imitation of the more successful plays a role then there should be a difference in how players switch from cooperation to defection between both treatments. Although, cooperation and payoff levels appear not to be significantly different between both treatments, detailed analysis shows that there are behavioral differences: When confronted with a more successful co-player, the focal player will imitate that behavior as the switching is related to the experienced payoff inequality.

Usage Notes

Funding

Research Fundation Flanders - FWO

Research Fundation Flanders - FWO