The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Psychological Games

  • Martin Dufwenberg
Reference work entry


Traditional game-theoretic models assume that utilities depend only on actions. This is not sufficient for describing the motivations and choices of decision makers who care about reciprocity, emotions, or social rewards. Psychological games allow utilities to depend directly on beliefs (about beliefs) in addition to which actions are chosen, and they can capture a wider range of motivations. This article contains several examples and it is indicated where research on psychological games is headed.


Allais Paradox Belief-Dependent Motivation Commitment Decision Theory Emotions Extensive Game Forms Game Theory Guilt Aversion Psychological Forward Induction Psychological Games Reciprocity Signalling Trust Von Neumann and Morgenstern 

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Dufwenberg
    • 1
  1. 1.