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An Experimental Investigation on Learning and Context Effects

By Marco Novarese, Chiara Chelini, Anna Spada, Angela Ambrosino and Carla Trigona

Abstract

This paper revisited Gregory Bateson’s theory of hierarchical learning through an experiment testing the existence of context effect and learning spill-over in two following games: a coordination game and a two-step battle-of-the sexes. The first part of the experiment is seen as a kind of training period. The different treatments of the coordination game are, in fact, designed so to reinforce different representations of the games, requiring to look at different aspects of a series of images shown in the screen. The second game allows testing if differences in training determine different behaviors in a same situation. Our experiment suggests that the preliminary training influences how the second game is perceived. While the incentive structure of the battle-of-the sexes is not identical to the coordination game, the presence of an image determines a different kind of context similarity with the previous one.

Topics: D03 - Behavioral Economics; Underlying Principles, B50 - General
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de:27807

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