Frequent criticism in dynamic decision making research pertains to the overly complex nature of the decision tasks used in experimentation. To address such concerns we study dynamic decision making with respect to the simple race game Hog, which has a computable optimal decision strategy. In the two-player game of Hog, individuals compete to be the first to reach a designated threshold of points. Players alternate rolling a desired quantity of dice. If the number one appears on any of the dice, the player receives no points for his turn; otherwise, the sum of the numbers appearing on the dice is added to the player's score. Results indicate that although players are influenced by the game state when making their decisions, they tend to play too conservatively in comparison to the optimal policy and are influenced by the behavior of their opponents. Improvement in performance was negligible with repeated play. Survey data suggests that this outcome could be due to inadequate time for learning, lack of player knowledge of key probabilistic concepts, or insufficient player motivation. Regardless, some players approached optimal heuristic strategies, which perform remarkably well. Results in Hog share similarities and differences with results in a predecessor dice game called Pig.
Behavioral economics; Decision making; Dynamic decision making; Game of hog; Games of strategy (Mathematics)
Behavioral Economics | Numerical Analysis and Computation | Theory and Algorithms
De, Shipra, "Dynamic decision making and race games" (2011). University Libraries Lance and Elena Calvert Undergraduate Research Awards. Paper 5.