Intention or request: The impact of message structures

Thumbnail Image
Issue Date
Wang, Siyu
Flannery, Timothy

Wang, S., & Flannery, T. (2021). Intention or request: The impact of message structures. Games, 12(1), 1-13. doi:10.3390/g12010012


This paper investigates how different message structures impact communication strategy as well as sender and receiver behavior. Specifically, we focus on comparing communication games with messages stating an intention versus a request. Our experimental results show that when a game includes self-signaling or self-committing messages, the two message structures yield negligibly different results. However, when the messages of the game are neither self-signaling nor self-committing, we find that more subjects send messages suggesting cooperation with request than intention. Interestingly, subjects also deviate from their suggested actions more frequently with request than intention. We surmise lying aversion plays a prominent role in contributing to the differences in games where messages lack the self-committing property.

Table of Content
Open Access