Pinocchio's Pupil: Using Eyetracking and Pupil Dilation to Understand Truth-Telling and Deception in Sender-Receiver Game

69 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2009

See all articles by Joseph Tao-yi Wang

Joseph Tao-yi Wang

National Taiwan University - Department of Economics

Michael Spezio

California Institute of Technology - Economics

Colin Camerer

California Institute of Technology - Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Date Written: September 1, 2009

Abstract

We report experiments on sender-receiver games with an incentive for senders to exaggerate. Subjects “overcommunicate” - messages are more informative of the true state than they should be, in equilibrium. Eyetracking shows that senders look at payoffs in a way that is consistent with a level-k model. A combination of sender messages and lookup patterns predicts the true state about twice as often as predicted by equilibrium. Using these measures to infer the state would enable receiver subjects to hypothetically earn 16-21 percent more than they actually do, an economic value of 60 percent of the maximum increment.

Keywords: Cheap talk, Truth-bias, Lie detection, behavioral game theory, eyetracking, experimental economics, behavioral economics

JEL Classification: C72, C92, D82

Suggested Citation

Wang, Joseph Tao-yi and Spezio, Michael and Camerer, Colin F., Pinocchio's Pupil: Using Eyetracking and Pupil Dilation to Understand Truth-Telling and Deception in Sender-Receiver Game (September 1, 2009). American Economic Review, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1466532

Joseph Tao-yi Wang (Contact Author)

National Taiwan University - Department of Economics ( email )

1 Roosevelt Road, Section 4
Department of Economics
Taipei, 106
Taiwan
886-2-33668411 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://homepage.ntu.edu.tw/~josephw/

Michael Spezio

California Institute of Technology - Economics ( email )

United States

Colin F. Camerer

California Institute of Technology - Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences ( email )

1200 East California Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91125
United States
626-395-4054 (Phone)
626-432-1726 (Fax)

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