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Dumbing down rational players : Learning and teaching in an experimental game

This paper uses experimental data to examine the existence of a teaching strategy among bounded rational players. If players realize that their own actions modify their opponent's beliefs and actions, they might play certain actions to this specific end ; and forego immediate payoffs if the expected payoffs if the expected payoff gain from a teaching strategy is high enough. Our results support the existence of a teaching strategy in several ways : First they show that players update their beliefs in order to take account of the reaction of their opponents to their own action. Second, we examine if players actually use a teaching strategy by playing an action that induces a poor immediate payoff but is likely to modify the opponent's behavior so that a preferable outcome might emerge in the future. We find strong evidence of such a strategy in the data and confirm this finding within a logistic model which suggests that the future expected payoff that could arise from a teaching strategy has indeed a significant impact on choice probabilities. Finally, we investigate the effective impact of a teaching strategy on achieved outcomes and find that efficient teachers can successfully use teaching in order to reach their favorite outcome at the expense of their opponents.

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File URL: ftp://mse.univ-paris1.fr/pub/mse/CES2007/Bla07017.pdf
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Paper provided by Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne in its series Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne with number bla07017.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mse:cesdoc:bla07017
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  13. Kyle Hyndman & Erkut Y. Ozbay & Andrew Schotter & Wolf Ze’ev Ehrblatt, 2012. "Convergence: An Experimental Study Of Teaching And Learning In Repeated Games," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 573-604, 05.
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