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Exploring the space of human exploration using Entropy Mastermind

By Eric Schulz, Lara Bertram, Matthias Hofer, Jonathan D. Nelson

Posted 05 Feb 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/540666

What drives people’s exploration in complex scenarios where they have to actively acquire information? How do people adapt their selection of queries to the environment? We explore these questions using Entropy Mastermind, a novel variant of the Mastermind code-breaking game, in which participants have to guess a secret code by making useful queries. Participants solved games more efficiently if the entropy of the game environment was low; moreover, people adapted their initial queries to the scenario they were in. We also investigated whether it would be possible to predict participants’ queries within the generalized Sharma-Mittal information-theoretic framework. Although predicting individual queries was difficult, the modeling framework offered important insights on human behavior. Entropy Mastermind opens up rich possibilities for modeling and behavioral research.

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