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Internally driven strategy change

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Abstract:

The behavioural analysis of normal adults solving a combinatorial game—the subtraction game—that was previously studied by Gneezy, Rustichini, and Vostroknutov (2010) allows one to identify the transition from one strategy to a novel strategy. Based on protocol analysis and debriefing, two different strategies used by participants in this task are identified and compared with behavioural measurements (reaction times, accuracy, and mouse movements). One is a (forward) exploration strategy and the other is a more complex but efficient backward induction procedure. The clear determination of the transition from the standard forward exploration strategy to a novel internally generated strategy is established by both protocol reports and behavioural measurements. It allows for the potential investigation of the underlying transition to be carried out by cognitive neuroscience methods. A set of characteristics of such transitions to internally generated novel strategies are discussed.

Keywords: Games; Insight; Latching; Protocols; Strategy

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13546783.2010.523546

Affiliations: SISSA, Cognitive Neuroscience Sector, Trieste, Italy

Publication date: November 1, 2010

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