Learning from Forced Completion vs the Option to Opt Out: An Experiment on a Hybrid of the Game of 21 and the Centipede Game
Timothy Flannery and
Cara Elisabeth Sibert
No vfuqw, OSF Preprints from Center for Open Science
This study examines how the option to opt out facilitates learning in the Game of 21. In the treatment, players have the opportunity to opt out of the game at any time, similar to a centipede game, and receive a decreasing payment for doing so as the game progresses. Players in the control play the standard Game of 21. Additionally, the experiment introduces a novel concept of a "dumb computer" that always makes suboptimal decisions. Performance against the "dumb computer" determines the level of foresight of subjects in order to compare the amount of learning between the hybrid centipede 21 game and the traditional Game of 21. Results indicate players drop out strategically and earlier as the game progresses with a few ending immediately as the backward induction solution predicts; however, contrary to our predictions, players learn better when forced to finish the game. Some of the difference in learning occurs due to a small set of players giving up when they have the option to opt out.
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