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Title: Payoff dominance and the Stackelberg heuristic.
Authors: Colman, Andrew M.
Bacharach, M.
First Published: 1997
Publisher: Springer
Citation: Theory and Decision, 1997, 43, pp.1-19.
Abstract: Payoff dominance, a criterion for choosing between equilibrium points in games, is intuitively compelling, especially in matching games and other games of common interests, but it has not been justified from standard game-theoretic rationality assumptions. A psychological explanation of it is offered in terms of a form of reasoning that we call the Stackelberg heuristic in which players assume that their strategic thinking will be anticipated by their co-player(s). Two-person games are called Stackelberg-soluble if the players' strategies that maximize against their co-players' best replies intersect in a Nash equilibrium. Proofs are given that every game of common interests is Stackelberg-soluble, that a Stackelberg solution is always a payoff-dominant outcome, and that in every game with multiple Nash equilibria a Stackelberg solution is a payoff-dominant equilibrium point. It is argued that the Stackelberg heuristic may be justified by evidentialist reasoning.
Type: Article
Description: This is the author's final draft. 'The original publication is available at'
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Psychology

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