Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking? An Evaluation of a Simplified Theory of Mind

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8108)


We examine the effectiveness of an agent’s approximate theory of mind when interacting with human players in a wartime negotiation game. We first measure how accurately the agent’s theory of mind captured the players’ actual behavior. We observe significant overlap between the players’ behavior and the agents’ idealized expectations, but we also observe significant deviations. Forming an incorrect expectation about a person is not inherently damaging, so we then analyzed how different deviations affected the game outcomes. We observe that many classes of inaccuracy in the agent’s theory of mind did not hurt the agent’s performance and, in fact, some of them played to the agent’s benefit. The results suggest potential advantages to giving an agent a computational model of theory of mind that is overly simplified, especially as a first step when investigating a domain with as much uncertainty as wartime negotiation.


theory of mind cognitive models wartime negotiation evaluation of formal models 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Creative TechnologiesUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Curious Lab LLCLos AngelesUSA

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