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Learning, Generalization and the Perception of Information: an Experimental Study

Author

Listed:
  • Novarese, Marco
  • Lanteri, Alessandro
  • Tibaldeschi, Cesare

Abstract

This article experimentally explores the way in which human agents learn how to process and manage new information. In an abstract setting, players should perform an everyday task: selecting information, making generalizations, distinguishing contexts. The tendency to generalize is common to all participants, but in a different way. Best players have a stringer tendency to generalise rules. A high score is, in fact, associated with low entropy for mistakes, that is with a tendency to repeat the same mistakes over and over. Though the repetition of mistakes might be considered a failure to properly employ feedback or a bias, it may instead turn out as a viable and successful procedure. This result is connected to the literature on learning.

Suggested Citation

  • Novarese, Marco & Lanteri, Alessandro & Tibaldeschi, Cesare, 2010. "Learning, Generalization and the Perception of Information: an Experimental Study," MPRA Paper 28007, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:28007
    as

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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/28007/1/MPRA_paper_28007.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Erev, Ido & Roth, Alvin E, 1998. "Predicting How People Play Games: Reinforcement Learning in Experimental Games with Unique, Mixed Strategy Equilibria," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 848-881, September.
    2. Novarese, Marco & Lanteri, Alessandro, 2007. "Individual learning: theory formation, and feedback in a complex task," MPRA Paper 3049, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Marcet, Albert & Sargent, Thomas J., 1989. "Convergence of least squares learning mechanisms in self-referential linear stochastic models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 337-368, August.
    4. Heiner, Ronald A, 1983. "The Origin of Predictable Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 560-595, September.
    5. Salvatore Rizzello & Margherita Turvani, 2002. "Subjective Diversity and Social Learning: A Cognitive Perspective for Understanding Institutional Behavior," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 197-210, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    behavioural entropy; cognitive economics; complexity; experiments; feedback; heuristics; learning;

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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