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The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance

No 728:
Evolution of Theories of Mind

Erik Mohlin ()

Abstract: This paper studies the evolution of peoples' models of how other people think -- their theories of mind. First, this is formalized within the level-k model, which postulates a hierarchy of types, such that type k plays a k times iterated best response to the uniform distribution. It is found that, under plausible conditions, lower types co-exist with higher types. The results are extended to a model of learning, in which type k plays a k times iterated best response the average of past play. The results are also extended to the cognitive hierarchy model, and to the introduction of a type that plays a Nash equilibrium.

Keywords: Theory of Mind; Evolution; Learning; Level-k; Fictitious Play; Cognitive Hierarchy; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: C73; D83; (follow links to similar papers)

53 pages, May 4, 2010, Revised March 20, 2012

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