How Real People Think in Strategic Games

January 26, 2004

Sara Robinson

Once upon a time, Arianna, a Hollywood hostess, threw a large party for a diverse assemblage of guests. Bored with the usual rounds of "Hollywood Star Charades" and "Two Minutes with a Millionaire," she initiated a novel game: Each guest was to choose a number from 0 to 100, write it on a piece of paper, and drop it in a passed basket. The goal, she explained, was to choose a number as close as possible to two thirds of the group average. The person or people who came closest would share a bottle of very expensive champagne.

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