Hanaki, Nobuyuki Kirman, Alan P. Pezanis-Christou, Paul
Year of Publication:
CESifo Working Paper 6029
The literature on learning in unknown environments emphasises reinforcing on actions which produce positive results. But, in some cases, success requires shifting from a currently successful actions to others. We examine, experimentally and theoretically in a very simple framework, how individuals initially learn by exploiting information from the pay-offs of actions taken but also from exploring new actions. We analyse if and how they learn that pay-offs are inter-temporally dependent. We then ran the same experiments but where individuals could observe the actions taken or the pay-offs obtained by others or both. Such observations improved pay-offs if one of the pair had learned to obtain the maximum pay-off.
multi-armed bandit reinforcement learning eureka moment pay-off patterns observational learning