, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 305-316
Date: 09 Aug 2007

Hierarchical thinking and learning in rank order contests

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We analyze a class of coordination games in which the Kth player to submit an entry wins a contest. These games have an infinite number of symmetric equilibria and the set of equilibria does not change with K. We run experiments with 15 participants and with K=3, 7, and 11. Our experiments show that the value of K affects initial submissions and convergence to equilibrium. When K is small relative to the number of participants, our experiments show that repeated play converges to or near zero. When K is large, an equilibrium is often not reached as a result of repeated play. We seek explanations to these patterns in hierarchical thinking and direction learning.