IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Imitation with Intention and Memory: an Experiment


  • Astrid Matthey


Three results emerge from a simple experiment on imitation. First, I find behavior which strongly suggests an intention to imitate. Second, players im- itate successful other players rather than repeating successful actions. Third, to find imitation examples, players use several periods of memory. This lends support to learning models with a non-trivial role of memory. The experiment analyzes imitation in an individual learning context. It sup- plements the results obtained for imitation in evolutionary processes.

Suggested Citation

  • Astrid Matthey, 2006. "Imitation with Intention and Memory: an Experiment," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2006-088, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:hum:wpaper:sfb649dp2006-088

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Levine, David K. & Pesendorfer, Wolfgang, 2007. "The evolution of cooperation through imitation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 293-315, February.
    2. Schlag, Karl H., 1999. "Which one should I imitate?," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 493-522, May.
    3. Huck, Steffen & Normann, Hans-Theo & Oechssler, Jorg, 1999. "Learning in Cournot Oligopoly--An Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(454), pages 80-95, March.
    4. David K Levine & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2005. "Evolution of Cooperation Through Imitation," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7630, David K. Levine.
    5. Fernando Vega-Redondo, 1997. "The Evolution of Walrasian Behavior," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(2), pages 375-384, March.
    6. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    7. Schlag, Karl H., 1998. "Why Imitate, and If So, How?, : A Boundedly Rational Approach to Multi-armed Bandits," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 130-156, January.
    8. Alos-Ferrer, Carlos, 2004. "Cournot versus Walras in dynamic oligopolies with memory," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 193-217, February.
    9. Antoni Bosch-DomËnech & Nicolaas J. Vriend, 2003. "Imitation of successful behaviour in cournot markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(487), pages 495-524, April.
    10. Fudenberg, Drew & Imhof, Lorens A., 2006. "Imitation processes with small mutations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 131(1), pages 251-262, November.
    11. Altavilla, Carlo & Luini, Luigi & Sbriglia, Patrizia, 2006. "Social learning in market games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(4), pages 632-652, December.
    12. James Bergin & Dan Bernhardt, 1999. "Comparative Dynamics," Working Papers 981, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    13. Josephson, Jens & Matros, Alexander, 2004. "Stochastic imitation in finite games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 244-259, November.
    14. Selten, Reinhard & Apesteguia, Jose, 2005. "Experimentally observed imitation and cooperation in price competition on the circle," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 171-192, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Imitation; Learning; Memory; Experiments;

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hum:wpaper:sfb649dp2006-088. 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: (RDC-Team). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.