Satisficing Players

Werner Guth


Bounded rationality and, more specifically, satisficing in game playing assumes choosing strategies by anticipating their likely consequences. Unlike orthodox game theory, one does not require optimality and rational expectations but views satisficing as a reasoning process with several possible feedback loops. The various stages of such reasoning ask players to
• mentally represent the game, typically via simplifying (mental modeling),
• generate scenarios, i.e., point expectations concerning others’ choices and chance events (scenario generation),
• form payoff aspirations for all scenarios (aspiration formation),
• try to satisfy them by successively testing choice alternatives (satisficing search).
When repeating this process, players may revise their mental representation, adapt their scenario set and aspiration profile or drop the first, the two first, or all three of these stages before exploring further strategies. Such satisficing in game playing has been confirmed experimentally by directly observing scenario generation, aspiration formation, and search for satisficing alternatives.

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Research in World Economy
ISSN 1923-3981(Print)ISSN 1923-399X(Online)


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