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Using Visual Salience in Empirical Game Theory

Li, Xiaoming and Camerer, Colin (2019) Using Visual Salience in Empirical Game Theory. . (Unpublished)

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Coordination games often have salient “focal points”. In games where choices are locations in images, we test for the effect of salience, predicted a priori using a neuroscience-based algorithm, Concentration of salience is correlated with the rate of matching when players are trying to match (r=.64). In hider-seeker games, all players choose salient locations more often, creating a “seeker’s advantage” (seekers win 9% of games). Salience-choice relations are explained by a salience-enhanced cognitive hierarchy model. The novel prediction that time pressure will increases seeker’s advantage, by biasing choices toward salience, is confirmed. Other links to salience in economics are suggested.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Camerer, Colin0000-0003-4049-1871
Additional Information:Date Written: January 1, 2019; Posted: 11 Jan 2019. Support was provided by the Behavioral and Neuroeconomics Discovery Fund (PI Camerer) and NIMH Conte Center P50MH094258. Thanks to audiences at the Caltech Graduate Proseminar, Sloan/NOMIS Conference on Decision and Cognition, IAREP/SABE (Middlesex), Columbia University, Peking University, Elke Weber and Vince Crawford for helpful comments, to Anne Karling for a valuable image, and to Eskil Forsell, Milica Moorman, Gidi Nave and Alec Smith for prior research on this topic.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Behavioral and Neuroeconomics Discovery FundUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:salience, focal points, coordination, neuroeconomic
Classification Code:JEL: C72, C92
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200327-130458883
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Li, Xiaomin and Camerer, Colin F., Using Visual Salience in Empirical Game Theory (January 1, 2019). Available at SSRN: or
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:102149
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:27 Mar 2020 20:48
Last Modified:27 Mar 2020 20:48

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