Forecasting Decisions in Conflict Situations: A Comparison of Game Theory, Role-Playing, and Unaided Judgment

24 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2008

See all articles by J. Scott Armstrong

J. Scott Armstrong

University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department

Date Written: July 13, 2008

Abstract

Can game theory aid in forecasting the decision making of parties in a conflict? A review of the literature revealed diverse opinions but no empirical evidence on this question. When put to the test, game theorists' predictions were more accurate than those from unaided judgment but not as accurate as role-play forecasts. Twenty-one game theorists made 99 forecasts of decisions for six conflict situations. The same situations were described to 290 research participants, who made 207 forecasts using unaided judgment, and to 933 participants, who made 158 forecasts in active role-playing. Averaged across the six situations, 37 percent of the game theorists' forecasts, 28 percent of the unaided-judgment forecasts, and 64 percent of the role-play forecasts were correct.

Keywords: Conflict, Expert opinion, Forecasting, Game theory, Judgement, Role-playing, Simulation

Suggested Citation

Armstrong, J. Scott, Forecasting Decisions in Conflict Situations: A Comparison of Game Theory, Role-Playing, and Unaided Judgment (July 13, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1159537 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1159537

J. Scott Armstrong (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department ( email )

700 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
3730 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6340
United States
215-898-5087 (Phone)
215-898-2534 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://marketing.wharton.upenn.edu/people/faculty/armstrong.cfm

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