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RETOS. Revista de Ciencias de la Administración y Economía

On-line version ISSN 1390-8618Print version ISSN 1390-6291


LOPEZ, Rafael; CALVO, José Luis  and  DE LA TORRE, Ignacio. Behavioral and psychological game theory: a systematic review. Retos [online]. 2022, vol.12, n.24, pp.308-328. ISSN 1390-8618.

thanks to the game theory we have a better understanding of human behavior in the economy. However, since this theory excludes the psychological aspect from conduct, a revision of the rationality assumption completes the missed information in some games. As a consequence, some approaches have emerged including behavioral and psychological aspects in games. This has generated a large amount of literature distributed in apparently independent lines of research, a fact that could generate confusion. To clarify whether behavioral game theory and psychological game theory are independent approaches, a systematic review was conducted using the PRISMA guidelines to identify all empirical studies published under both names. Papers that (1) had psychological variables, (2) were peer-reviewed, and (3) had any experimental design were collected. From 492 papers searched, 67 were included in this systematic review. They were organized and studied to determine what type of psychological variables they included and whether there are really two different approaches. The most common term used is behavioral game theory in which variables like guilt, trust, motivation, and reciprocity are widely used. The main conclusion is that the two approaches are really the same and it is the followers of the main authors of each current who publish under one or the other name.

Keywords : behavioral game theory; psychological game theory; behavioral economics; game theory; decision making; decision theory; social behavior; cognitive hierarchy.

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