Study on Bluffing Suggests Co-Operation

Published Tuesday, November 02, 2010 -

There has been study after study released and analysed on the mechanics of human thinking patterns and by and large the scientific community still doesn't know very much that's really new.

Then there are the headlines that proclaim that another study has figured out when a poker player is bluffing or the used car salesperson is giving you the business. Researchers contend that people's minds work differently when they're trying to put something over on others and are possible lying through their teeth.
There is a difference says the author of the research Meghana A. Bhatt, a fellow at Baylor College of Medicine's department of neuroscience.
The author says, "Our study indicates that manipulating other people's beliefs about your likely actions over a period of time probably requires a few different cognitive processes, including the ability to understand how your previous actions will affect other people,"

Researchers monitored the brains of 76 volunteers while they took part in a "bargaining game" designed to coax them into bluffing. One person served as the buyer and another as the seller during as sixty rounds of the game.

The study co-author Read Montague, also a neuroscientist, commented, "One subject, the buyer, knows the true value of an object and suggests to the other subject, the seller, what price they should sell the object for," "But the seller knows that most buyers will 'shave' the price a little to get a better deal. Also, the buyer knows that the seller will expect this, so the suggested price from the buyer needs to be credible. You can see that both players must use their best guess about the other player's assumptions about them. They must understand their image in their opponent's mind." Montague, continued, saying " this is a sophisticated cognitive ability in humans, and it is one part of a collection of cognitive abilities that allows us to deal with other humans, including cooperating with them,"


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