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Exploring the capability to reason backwards: An experimental study with children, adolescents, and young adults

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  • Brosig-Koch, Jeannette
  • Heinrich, Timo
  • Helbach, Christoph

Abstract

This is the first study investigating the development of the capability to reason backwards in children, adolescents, and young adults aged 6 to 23 under controlled laboratory conditions. The experimental design employs a modified version of the race game. As in the original game, subjects need to apply backward analysis in order to solve the games. We find that subjects’ capability to reason backwards improves with age, but that this process systematically differs across genders. Our repetition of the games indicates that differences exist also in learning between age groups and across genders.

Suggested Citation

  • Brosig-Koch, Jeannette & Heinrich, Timo & Helbach, Christoph, 2015. "Exploring the capability to reason backwards: An experimental study with children, adolescents, and young adults," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 286-302.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:74:y:2015:i:c:p:286-302
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2014.12.003
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    Cited by:

    1. William Neilson & Michael Price & Mikhael Shor, 2016. "Nudging Backward Induction," Working papers 2016-31, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    2. Sutter, Matthias & Yilmaz, Levent & Oberauer, Manuela, 2015. "Delay of gratification and the role of defaults—An experiment with kindergarten children," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 21-24.
    3. repec:gam:jgames:v:8:y:2017:i:3:p:33-:d:107453 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Backward analysis; Learning; Age effects; Experimental economics; Children;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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