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Individual learning: theory formation, and feedback in a complex task

Marco Novarese () and Alessandro Lanteri ()

MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: We present an experiment for the study of learning in a complex task which requires both memorisation and the ability to process several pieces of information. The outcome of an action, for which immediate feedback is given, depends on the context (i.e. one of thirty-two sequences of three features) which is know and visible to the subjects. Subjects develop some theories of the experimental world, which result in the stable repetition of some actions in response to certain conditions. These theories are modified after feedback, however mistaken answers are repeated and correct answers abandoned. During the game, theories become more effective (i.e. they afford more correct answers and a higher score), yet the improvements slow down. The theories follow from only a portion of the available information and when they become successful (i.e. towards the end of the experiment) the subjects start refining them to include a larger subset of the information, this causes more stable mistakes.

Keywords: cognitive economics; complexity; experiments; feedback; learning; theory formation; Heiner (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A12 D83 C91 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe and nep-exp
Date: 2007-04-26
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