The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Behavioural Game Theory

  • Colin F. Camerer
Reference work entry


Behavioural game theory uses experimental regularities and psychology to model formally how limits on strategic thinking, learning, and social preferences interact when people actually play games. Emerging theories of behaviour in ultimatum and trust games (and others) focus on an aversion to inequality, reciprocity, or concern for social image. Learning models often focus on numerical updating of an unobserved propensity to choose a strategy (including fictitious play updating of beliefs as a special case). Models of limits on strategic thinking assume players are in equilibrium, but respond with error, or there is a cognitive hierarchy of increasingly sophisticated reasoning.


Adaptive expectations Altruism Analytical game theory Auctions Behavioural game theory Bounded rationality Cognitive hierarchy theories Communication Competition Contracting Coordination Dictator games Direction learning Disequilibrium behaviour Entry deterrence games Experience weighted attraction Individual learning in games Inequality aversion Learning Mixed strategy equilibrium Moral hazard Negative reciprocity Quantal response equilibrium Rational expectations Rawls, J. Reciprocity Replicator dynamics Self-interest Signalling Social preferences Tit for tat Trust games Ultimatum games Utilitarianism Weighted fictitious play 

JEL Classifications

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Colin F. Camerer
    • 1
  1. 1.