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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Rick, Scott & Weber, Roberto A., 2010. "Meaningful learning and transfer of learning in games played repeatedly without feedback," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 716-730, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:68:y:2010:i:2:p:716-730
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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. Eric Guerci & Nobuyuki Hanaki & Naoki Watanabe, 2015. "Meaningful Learning in Weighted Voting Games: An Experiment," Working Papers halshs-01216244, HAL.
    3. Dorothea Kübler, 2010. "Experimental Practices in Economics: Performativity and the Creation of Phenomena," CIG Working Papers SP II 2010-01, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
    4. Eric Guerci & Nobuyuki Hanaki & Naoki Watanabe, 2015. "Meaningful Learning in Weighted Voting Games: An Experiment," GREDEG Working Papers 2015-40, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.
    5. David Danz & Dietmar Fehr & Dorothea Kübler, 2012. "Information and beliefs in a repeated normal-form game," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, pages 622-640.
    6. Evdokimov, Piotr & Rustichini, Aldo, 2016. "Forward induction: Thinking and behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, pages 195-208.
    7. Ding, Jieyao & Nicklisch, Andreas, 2013. "On the impulse in impulse learning," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(2), pages 294-297.
    8. Eric Guerci & Nobuyuki Hanaki & Naoki Watanabe, 2017. "Meaningful learning in weighted voting games: an experiment," Theory and Decision, Springer, pages 131-153.
    9. Chaudhuri, Ananish & Paichayontvijit, Tirnud & Smith, Alexander, 2017. "Belief heterogeneity and contributions decay among conditional cooperators in public goods games," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, pages 15-30.
    10. Jieyao Ding & Andreas Nicklisch, 2013. "On the Impulse in Impulse Learning," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2013_02, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    11. Huck, Steffen & Jehiel, Philippe & Rutter, Tom, 2011. "Feedback spillover and analogy-based expectations: A multi-game experiment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, pages 351-365.
    12. Duffy, John & Kornienko, Tatiana, 2010. "Does competition affect giving?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, pages 82-103.
    13. Trautmann, Stefan T. & Zeckhauser, Richard J., 2013. "Shunning uncertainty: The neglect of learning opportunities," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, pages 44-55.
    14. repec:eee:gamebe:v:103:y:2017:i:c:p:94-115 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Trautmann, Stefan T. & Zeckhauser, Richard J., 2013. "Shunning uncertainty: The neglect of learning opportunities," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, pages 44-55.
    16. Haruvy, Ernan & Stahl, Dale O., 2012. "Between-game rule learning in dissimilar symmetric normal-form games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, pages 208-221.
    17. repec:eee:jeborg:v:142:y:2017:i:c:p:11-23 is not listed on IDEAS

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