Does observation of others affect learning in strategic environments? An experimental study

John Duffy, Nick Feltovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents experimental results from an analysis of two similar games, the repeated ultimatum game and the repeated best-shot game. The experiment examines whether the amount and content of information given to players affects the evolution of play in the two games. In one experimental treatment, subjects in both games observe not only their own actions and payoffs, but also those of one randomly chosen pair of players in the just-completed round of play. In the other treatment, subjects in both games observe only their own actions and payoffs. We present evidence suggesting that observation of other players' actions and payoffs may affect the evolution of play relative to the case of no observation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-152
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Game Theory
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999


  • Best-shot game
  • Information
  • Observation
  • Reinforcement
  • Social learning
  • Ultimatum game

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