Global Information and Mobility Support Coordination Among Humans Articles uri icon

publication date

  • September 2014

issue

  • 6458

volume

  • 4

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2045-2322

abstract

  • Coordination among different options is key for a functioning and efficient society. However, often coordination failures arise, resulting in serious problems both at the individual and the societal level. An additional factor intervening in the coordination process is individual mobility, which takes place at all scales in our world, and whose effect on coordination is not well known. In this experimental work we study the behavior of people who play a pure coordination game in a spatial environment in which they can move around and when changing convention is costly. We find that each convention forms homogeneous clusters and is adopted by approximately half of the individuals. When we provide them with global information, i.e., the number of subjects currently adopting one of the conventions, global consensus is reached in most, but not all, cases. Our results allow us to extract the heuristics used by the participants and to build a numerical simulation model that agrees very well with the experiments. Our findings have important implications for policymakers intending to promote specific, desired behaviors in a mobile population.

keywords

  • focal points; games; model;