Young children's preoccupation with their own payoffs in strategic analysis of 2 × 2 games

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Abstract

72 4-10 yr olds played 3 mixed-motive games, each game having one dominating strategy. Half of the Ss first chose their own strategy and then guessed what the other player (experimenter) chose; the other half proceeded in the reverse order. Ss at all ages showed a preoccupation with their own payoffs and a lack of interest in the other player's payoffs. Although the younger Ss centered on their maximum payoff, older Ss were able and willing to pay attention to the other player's interests, but only if doing so helped them to improve their own strategy. This developmental improvement seems due to the growing ability to coordinate 2 players' strategies. (11 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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