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Nonparametric learning rules from bandit experiments: The eyes have it!

  • Hu, Yingyao
  • Kayaba, Yutaka
  • Shum, Matthew

How do people learn? We assess, in a model-free manner, subjectsʼ belief dynamics in a two-armed bandit learning experiment. A novel feature of our approach is to supplement the choice and reward data with subjectsʼ eye movements during the experiment to pin down estimates of subjectsʼ beliefs. Estimates show that subjects are more reluctant to “update down” following unsuccessful choices, than “update up” following successful choices. The profits from following the estimated learning and decision rules are smaller (by about 25% of average earnings by subjects in this experiment) than what would be obtained from a fully-rational Bayesian learning model, but comparable to the profits from alternative non-Bayesian learning models, including reinforcement learning and a simple “win-stay” choice heuristic.

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

Volume (Year): 81 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 215-231

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:81:y:2013:i:c:p:215-231
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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