If you could read my mind – An Experimental Beauty-Contest Game with Children (with Daniel Schunk)

  • Date: Sep 26, 2019
  • Time: 11:00 AM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Henning Hermes
  • NHH Norwegian School of Economics
  • Location: MPI
  • Room: Ground Floor

We developed a novel experimental beauty-contest game for children in school age and tested the design of the game in a study in schools with 114 children aged 9-11 years. In addition, we collected measures on cognitive abilities and perspective-taking skills to identify determinants of successful performance in the game. Results demonstrate that children can successfully learn and play a beauty-contest game. First-round choices, depth of reasoning, and learning over time are largely comparable to studies run with adults. Successful performance in a beauty-contest game in this form is not predicted by cognitive skills, measured as fluid IQ, but much more by perspective-taking skills. These findings emphasize the importance of non-cognitive skills for strategic interaction and, more generally, economic decision-making. Our novel experimental beauty-contest game design allows to further study the development of strategic interaction skills starting already in school age.

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