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Working Paper Abstract

"Dynamic Psychological Games"
by Pierpaolo Battigalli (University Bocconi) and Martin Dufwenberg (University of Arizona)


Building on recent work on dynamic interactive epistemology, we
extend the analysis of extensive-form psychological games (Geneakoplos,
Pearce & Stacchetti, Games and Economic Behavior, 1989) to
include conditional higher-order beliefs and enlarged domains of pay-off
functions. The approach allows modeling dynamic psychological
effects (such as sequential reciprocity, psychological forward induction,
and regret) that are ruled out when epistemic types are identified with
hierarchies of initial beliefs. We define a notion of psycholigical sequential
equilibrium, which generalizes the sequential equilibrium notion for
traditional games, for which we prove existence under mild assumptions.
Our framework also allows us to directly formulate assumptions about
"dynamic" rationality and interactive beliefs in order to explore strategic
interaction without assuming that players' beliefs are coordinated on an
equilibrium. In particular, we provide an exploration of (extensive-form)
rationalizability in psychological games.

Keywords: psychological games, belief-dependent motivation, extensive-form solution concepts,
dynamic interactive epistemology.

JEL classification: C72, C73

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Last updated February 27, 2007