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An Experimental Investigation on Learning and Context Effects

Novarese, Marco and Chelini, Chiara and Spada, Anna and Ambrosino, Angela and Trigona, Carla (2010): An Experimental Investigation on Learning and Context Effects.

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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.

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