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Does observation of others affect learning in strategic environments? An experimental study

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  • Nick Feltovich

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204, USA)

  • John Duffy

    (Department of Economics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh PA 15260, USA)

Abstract

This paper presents experimental results from an analysis of two similar games, the repeated ultimatum game and the repeated best-shot game. The experiment examines whether the amount and content of information given to players affects the evolution of play in the two games. In one experimental treatment, subjects in both games observe not only their own actions and payoffs, but also those of one randomly chosen pair of players in the just-completed round of play. In the other treatment, subjects in both games observe only their own actions and payoffs. We present evidence suggesting that observation of other players' actions and payoffs may affect the evolution of play relative to the case of no observation.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal International Journal of Game Theory.

Volume (Year): 28 (1999)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 131-152

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jogath:v:28:y:1999:i:1:p:131-152

Note: Received February 1996/Final version April 1998
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Related research

Keywords: Social learning · observation · reinforcement · ultimatum game · best-shot game · information.;

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References

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  1. Allison, G. & Fudenberg, D., 1992. "Rules of Thumb for Social Learning," Working papers 92-12, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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  12. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
  13. Roth, Alvin E. & Erev, Ido, 1995. "Learning in extensive-form games: Experimental data and simple dynamic models in the intermediate term," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 164-212.
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  15. Hoffman, Elizabeth & McCabe, Kevin A & Smith, Vernon L, 1996. "On Expectations and the Monetary Stakes in Ultimatum Games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 289-301.
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