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American Economic Review: Vol. 100 No. 3 (June 2010)

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Pinocchio's Pupil: Using Eyetracking and Pupil Dilation to Understand Truth Telling and Deception in Sender-Receiver Games

Article Citation

Wang, Joseph Tao-yi, Michael Spezio, and Colin F. Camerer. 2010. "Pinocchio's Pupil: Using Eyetracking and Pupil Dilation to Understand Truth Telling and Deception in Sender-Receiver Games." American Economic Review, 100(3): 984-1007.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.100.3.984

Abstract

We report experiments on sender-receiver games with an incentive for senders to exaggerate. Subjects "overcommunicate" -- messages are more informative of the true state than they should be, in equilibrium. Eyetracking shows that senders look at payoffs in a way that is consistent with a level-k model. A combination of sender messages and lookup patterns predicts the true state about twice as often as predicted by equilibrium. Using these measures to infer the state would enable receiver subjects to hypothetically earn 16-21 percent more than they actually do, an economic value of 60 percent of the maximum increment. (JEL C72, C91, D82, Z13)

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Authors

Wang, Joseph Tao-yi (National Taiwan U)
Spezio, Michael (CA Institute of Technology and Scripps College)
Camerer, Colin F. (CA Institute of Technology)

JEL Classifications

C72: Noncooperative Games
C91: Design of Experiments: Laboratory, Individual
D82: Asymmetric and Private Information
Z13: Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification


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