Choosing between lotteries: Remarkable coordination without communication

Yoella Bereby-Meyer, Simone Moran, Brit Grosskopf, Dolly Chugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The current research examines tacit coordination behavior in a lottery selection task. Two hundred participants in each of three experiments and 100 in a fourth choose to participate in one of two lotteries, where one lottery has a larger prize than the other. Independent of variations in the complexity of the mechanism of prize allocation, the prize amounts, and whether the lottery is the participant's first or second choice, we typically find that the percentage of participants who choose the high versus low-prize lotteries does not significantly differ from the equilibrium predictions. This coordination is achieved without communication or experience. We additionally find that participants with an analytical thinking style and a risk-averse tendency are more likely to choose the low-prize lottery over the high-prize lottery. This tendency seems to be stable across choices. The pattern of our results suggests that to achieve tacit coordination, having a subset of individuals who attend to the choices of others is sufficient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-347
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Behavioral Decision Making
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2013


  • Choice
  • Coordination
  • Lottery
  • Risk taking
  • Thinking style
  • Uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Decision Sciences (all)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Strategy and Management


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