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Meaningful learning and transfer of learning in games played repeatedly without feedback

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  • Rick, Scott
  • Weber, Roberto A.

Abstract

Psychologists have long recognized two kinds of learning: one that is relatively shallow and domain-specific; and another that is deeper, producing generalizable insights that transfer across domains. The game theory literature has only recently considered this distinction, and the conditions that stimulate the latter kind of "meaningful" learning in games are still unclear. Three experiments demonstrate that one kind of meaningful learning -- acquisition of iterated dominance -- occurs in the absence of any feedback. We demonstrate that such feedback-free meaningful learning transfers to new strategically similar games, and that such transfer does not typically occur when initial games are played with feedback. The effects of withholding feedback are similar to, and substitutable with, those produced by requiring players to explain their behavior, a method commonly employed in psychology to increase deliberation. This similarity suggests that withholding feedback encourages deeper thinking about the game in a manner similar to such self-explanation.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 68 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 716-730

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:68:y:2010:i:2:p:716-730

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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Cited by:
  1. Haruvy, Ernan & Stahl, Dale O., 2012. "Between-game rule learning in dissimilar symmetric normal-form games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 208-221.
  2. Huck, Steffen & Jehiel, Philippe & Rutter, Tom, 2011. "Feedback spillover and analogy-based expectations: A multi-game experiment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 351-365, March.
  3. Jieyao Ding & Andreas Nicklisch, 2013. "On the Impulse in Impulse Learning," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2013_02, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  4. Fehr, Dietmar & Kübler, Dorothea & Danz, David N., 2008. "Information and Beliefs in a Repeated Normal-Form Game," IZA Discussion Papers 3627, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Trautmann, Stefan T. & Zeckhauser, Richard J., 2013. "Shunning uncertainty: The neglect of learning opportunities," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 44-55.
  6. Duffy, John & Kornienko, Tatiana, 2010. "Does competition affect giving?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 74(1-2), pages 82-103, May.
  7. Ding, Jieyao & Nicklisch, Andreas, 2013. "On the impulse in impulse learning," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(2), pages 294-297.

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