Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 11 No. 4 (Fall 1997)


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Progress in Behavioral Game Theory

Article Citation

Camerer, Colin F. 1997. "Progress in Behavioral Game Theory." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 11(4): 167-188.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.11.4.167


Behavioral game theory aims to predict how people actually behave by incorporating psychological elements and learning into game theory. With this goal in mind, experimental findings can be organized into three categories: players have systematic 'reciprocated social values,' like desires for fairness and revenge. Phenomena discovered in studies of individual judgments and choices, like 'framing' and overconfidence, are also evident in games. Strategic principles, like irrelevance of strategy labels and timing of moves, iterated elimination of dominated strategies, and backward induction, are violated. Future research should incorporate these findings, along with learning and 'pregame theory,' into formal game theory.

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Camerer, Colin F. (CA Institute Technology)

JEL Classifications

C70: Game Theory and Bargaining Theory: General


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