Lessons Learned: Generalizing Learning Across Games
This paper synthesizes findings from an ongoing research program on learning in signaling games. The present paper focuses on crossgame learning (the ability of subjects to take what has been learned in one game and generalize it to related games), an issue that has been ignored in most of the learning literature. We begin by laying out the basic experimental design and recapitulating early results characterizing the learning process. We then report results from an initial experiment in which we find a surprising degree of positive cross-game learning, contrary to the predictions of commonly employed learning models and to the findings of cognitive psychologists. We next explore two features of the environment that help to explain when and why this positive transfer occurs. First, we examine the effects of abstract versus meaningful context, an issue that has been largely ignored by economists out of the belief that behavior is largely dictated by the deep mathematical structure of a game. In contrast, results from cognitive psychology suggest that behavior may well be sensitive to context employed. Our results show that the use of meaningful context serves as a catalyst for positive transfer. Second, we explore how play by two-person teams differs from play by individuals. The psychology literature is quite pessimistic about the ability of teams to beat a "truth wins" standard based on performance of individuals. But teams easily surpass this norm in our cross-game experiment. We use the dialogues between team members to gain insight into how this transfer occurs, gaining direct confirmation for hypotheses generated by econometric analysis of earlier data.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 93 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/aer/|
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: https://www.aeaweb.org/subscribe.html|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Paul Milgrom & John Roberts, 1998.
"Limit Pricing and Entry Under Incomplete Information: An Equilibrium Analysis,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
245, David K. Levine.
- Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1982. "Limit Pricing and Entry under Incomplete Information: An Equilibrium Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(2), pages 443-59, March.
- David Cooper & John Kagel, 2008. "Learning and transfer in signaling games," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 415-439, March.
- Cooper, David J., 2008. "Learning in Entry Limit Pricing Games," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:93:y:2003:i:2:p:202-207. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Voros)or (Michael P. Albert)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.