Higher-Order Theory of Mind in Negotiations under Incomplete Information

  • Harmen de Weerd
  • Rineke Verbrugge
  • Bart Verheij
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8291)


Theory of mind refers to the ability to reason explicitly about unobservable mental content such as beliefs, desires, and intentions of others. People are known to make use of theory of mind, and even reason about what other people believe about their beliefs. Although it is unknown why such a higher-order theory of mind evolved in humans, exposure to mixed-motive situations may have facilitated its emergence. In such mixed-motive situations, interacting parties have partially overlapping goals, so that both competition and cooperation play a role. In this paper, we consider negotiation using alternative offers in a particular mixed-motive situation known as Colored Trails, and determine to what extent higher-order theory of mind is beneficial to computational agents. Our results show limited effectiveness of first-order theory of mind, while second-order theory of mind turns out to benefit agents greatly by allowing them to reason about the way they communicate their interests.


Incomplete Information Trading Partner Goal Location Belief Attribution Learning Speed 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harmen de Weerd
    • 1
  • Rineke Verbrugge
    • 1
  • Bart Verheij
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Artificial IntelligenceUniversity of GroningenNetherlands
  2. 2.CodeXStanford UniversityUSA

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