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Trusting You Trusting Me: The Importance of Beliefs about Trust in the Stag Hunt/Assurance Game
Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication. (Matematik/tillämpad matematik)
Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication. (Matematik/tillämpad matematik)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7164-0924
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In the coordination game known as the stag hunt or the assurance game, players face a choice between a risk-free strategy and a risky strategy that pays higher if chosen also by the other player. Such games are commonly described as trust problems because the risky strategy is a rational choice only if one expects the other player to choose it. Here we argue that the stag hunt ought to be about trust only in an indirect and recursive waywhere beliefs about trust are more important than actual trust. On the basis of an established trust questionnaire we categorised 323 participants as having either high or low trust. They then played series of stag hunt games with varying amounts of information (either none, or private or common) about trust levels of involved parties. In line with our predictions, a player’s strategy choice was not strongly predicted by his or her trust level unless the latter was common knowledge. In other words, a high (low) truster Ego is more likely to play the risky (risk-free) strategy if Ego knows that Alter knows Ego’s trust level, emphasising the importance of beliefs about trust.

National Category
Applied Psychology Other Mathematics
Research subject
Mathematics/Applied Mathematics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-16504OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-16504DiVA: diva2:578990
Available from: 2012-12-19 Created: 2012-12-10 Last updated: 2014-01-10Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Modelling Two-Person Interactions Within and Between Cultural Groups
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Modelling Two-Person Interactions Within and Between Cultural Groups
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The groups with which we associate influence our actions. This is often the case even when they are not deliberately organised but rather based on social categories, such as sex and skin colour, or cultural homogeneity, such as common language or customs. Group membership can cause widespread phenomena such as ingroup favouritism, polarisation of opinion and competition. Previous experiments have shown that these effects can be triggered by even completely arbitrary distinctions between groups. This thesis uses mathematical models to investigate under what circumstances these phenomena can arise.

Using a game theoretical approach, the first three papers address the evolution of ingroup favouritism. Previous models have focused on the prisoners’ dilemma, interactions where the socially optimal behaviour is to co-operate, but where it is in the individual’s self-interest not to. The results presented here suggest that co-ordination problems may have been more important than those of co-operation in the evolution of an ingroup bias. In particular, this applies to common goals that require trust. It is also demonstrated in a behavioural experiment that such trust is most common within groups, but that it can emerge between groups through group reputation.

The fourth paper focuses on a model on how cultural groups in contact can develop common norms, rather than polarise into different norm groups, by assuming a confirmation bias. The model is empirically tested on demographic and linguistic data from Mauritian Creole, a natural language developed from the mixing of parent languages.

In the fifth paper, the group is defined by common preferences (e.g. for pop songs), which are transmitted in a random copying model. The competitive success of the groups, with respect to their size, is recorded on a toplist, the turnover rate of which is derived.

In the final paper, people match up in pairs between groups according to their preferences, and all stable matchings are found under a specific assumption of bounded rationality, when people’s individual behaviour may be affected by the consequences for fellow group members.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University, 2013
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 136
Keyword
Mathematical modelling, cultural evolution
National Category
Mathematics
Research subject
Mathematics/Applied Mathematics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-16500 (URN)978-91-7485-100-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-02-22, Lambda, Mälardalens högskola, Västerås, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-12-19 Created: 2012-12-10 Last updated: 2015-11-13Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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