Ambiguous games: evidence for strategic ambiguity aversion
journal contributionposted on 30.06.2008, 09:05 by Briony D. Pulford, Andrew M. Colman
The problem of ambiguity in games is discussed, and a class of ambiguous games is identified. A total of 195 participants played strategic-form games of various sizes with unidentified co-players. In each case, they first chose between a known-risk game involving a co-player indifferent between strategies and an equivalent ambiguous game involving one of several co-player types, each with a different dominant strategy, and then they chose a strategy for the preferred game. Half the players knew that the ambiguous co-player types were equally likely, and half did not. Half expected the outcomes to be known immediately, and half expected a week's delay. Known-risk games were generally preferred, confirming a significant strategic ambiguity aversion effect. In the delay conditions, players who knew that the ambiguous co-player types were equally likely were significantly less ambiguity averse than those who did not. Decision confidence was significantly higher in 2 × 2 than in larger games.