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Belief Updating in Individual and Social Learning: A Field Experiment on the Internet

  • Shunichiro Sasaki
  • Toshiji Kawagoe
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    We conducted a field experiment on the Internet and investigated the participants' belief updating in an individual learning environment where they observe a sequence of private signals and in a social learning environment where they observe a sequence of other people's actions. We observed that participants do not update their posterior beliefs as efficiently as Bayesian, and that participants rely more on private signals than on other people's actions even when the informativeness of both is identical. Furthermore, we confirmed that participant's trust in other people's actions and their conformity to other people's actions are affected by their demographic characteristics.

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    File URL: http://www.iser.osaka-u.ac.jp/library/dp/2007/DP0690.pdf
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    Paper provided by Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University in its series ISER Discussion Paper with number 0690.

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    Date of creation: May 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:dpr:wpaper:0690
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    1. Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 2010. "A theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom and cultural change as informational Cascades," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1193, David K. Levine.
    2. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:3:y:2006:i:11:p:1-11 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Angela Hung & Jeff Dominitz, 2004. "Homogeneous Actions and Hetergeneous Beliefs: Experimental Evidence on the Formation of Information Cascades," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 64, Econometric Society.
    4. Angela A. Hung & Charles R. Plott, 2001. "Information Cascades: Replication and an Extension to Majority Rule and Conformity-Rewarding Institutions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1508-1520, December.
    5. Markus Noth & Martin Weber, 2003. "Information Aggregation with Random Ordering: Cascades and Overconfidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(484), pages 166-189, January.
    6. Anderson, Lisa R & Holt, Charles A, 1997. "Information Cascades in the Laboratory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 847-62, December.
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