Abstract # 4472 Event # 46:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 20, 2013 04:15 PM-04:30 PM: Session 7 (Las Olas) Oral Presentation


STRATEGIC RESPONDING BY RHESUS MONKEYS (MACACA MULATTA) AND HUMANS (HOMO SAPIENS) TO VARIABLE SIMULATED OPPONENTS IN A COORDINATION GAME

S. F. Brosnan1,2,3, B. J. Wilson4, M. J. Beran1 and A. E. Parrish1,2
1Georgia State University, Language Research Center, Atlanta, GA 30303-5010, USA, 2Department of Psychology, Georgia State University, 3Department of Philosophy & Neuroscience Institute, Georgia State University, 4Economic Science Institute, Chapman University
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     Strategic flexibility in how one responds to variable partner play can be examined using economic coordination games in which a subject plays against a variety of partners, and therefore might need to alter behavior to produce the highest payoff. Here, we investigated how strategic responding by rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) and humans (Homo sapiens) changed as a function of partner play in the Assurance Game, an economic game in which subjects who coordinate with their partners both receive the maximum possible payoff. We explored whether individuals could track and differentially respond to simulated partners (SIMs) that varied in the frequency with which they coordinated on this mutually beneficial Stag response. For monkeys (p=0.003) and humans (p<0.001), there was a linear relationship between proportion of Stag play by the subject and likelihood of Stag play by the SIM so that both species were increasing their use of the Stag response as the SIM increased its use of the Stag response. Nonetheless, despite virtually identical average payoffs (2.12 vs 2.13 rewards per trial), the species’ strategies differed (p=0.005), with humans following a probability matching strategy and rhesus showing a bias towards the Stag response. These results suggest that monkeys and humans demonstrate some sensitivity to the dynamic game environment in which they encounter variable partner play, although they may employ different strategies to engage variable partners.