Briony D. Pulford

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Decision theory and game theory rest on a fundamental assumption that players seek to maximize their individual utilities, but in some interactive decisions it seems intuitively reasonable to aim to maximize the utility of the group of players as a whole. Such team reasoning requires collective preferences and a distinctive mode of reasoning from(More)
In a market entry game, the number of entrants usually approaches game-theoretic equilibrium quickly, but in real-world markets business start-ups typically exceed market capacity, resulting in chronically high failure rates and suboptimal industry profits. Excessive entry has been attributed to overconfidence arising when expected payoffs depend partly on(More)
The similarity discrimination effect occurs when a single gene or gene cluster causes its carriers to display both a variable phenotypic trait and a behavioural predisposition to cooperate preferentially with recognisably similar carriers. We distinguish this from the greenbeard effect, in which cooperation evolves through fixed phenotypic tags and(More)
The influences of optimism and pessimism on ambiguity aversion were investigated in two tasks that manipulated the presence or absence of a potentially competitive experimenter. A total of 112 participants chose which option--ambiguous or known-risk--they preferred in the two slightly differing Ellsberg urns tasks. Optimism was measured using the Extended(More)
When attempting to draw a ball of a specified color either from an urn containing 50 red balls and 50 black balls or from an urn containing an unknown ratio of 100 red and black balls, a majority of decision makers prefer the known-risk urn, and this ambiguity aversion effect violates expected utility theory. In an experimental investigation of the effect(More)
The problem of ambiguity in games is discussed, and a class of ambiguous games is identified. A total of 195 participants played strategic-form games of various sizes with unidentified co-players. In each case, they first chose between a known-risk game involving a co-player indifferent between strategies and an equivalent ambiguous game involving one of(More)
There is a long-standing debate in philosophy about whether it is morally permissible to harm one person in order to prevent a greater harm to others and, if not, what is the moral principle underlying the prohibition. Hypothetical moral dilemmas are used in order to probe moral intuitions. Philosophers use them to achieve a reflective equilibrium between(More)
The principal aim of this article is to clarify what is and what is not problematic in understanding cooperation in the dyadic Prisoner’s Dilemma game and in multiplayer social dilemmas. A secondary aim is to provide a brief overview of the most important proposals for solving the genuine problems. Our commentary on the very interesting target article(More)
Hypothetical trolley problems are widely used to elicit moral intuitions, which are employed in the development of moral theory and the psychological study of moral judgments. The scenarios used are outlandish, and some philosophers and psychologists have questioned whether the judgments made in such unrealistic and unfamiliar scenarios are a reliable basis(More)
Students’ confidence in their academic abilities, measured with the Individual Learning Profile (ILP) scale, was examined in relation to their personality traits and grades. To validate the ILP, in Study 1, factor analysis of data from 3003 students extracted six factors (Reading and Writing, Hard IT, Numeracy, Time Management, Speaking, and Easy IT) with(More)