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STICERD Psychology and Economics Seminar

CEP Capabilities, Competition and Innovation Seminar

Not Learning from Others

Frank Schilbach (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), joint with John J. Conlon, Malavika Mani, Gautam Rao and Matthew Ridley

Thursday 03 November 2022 13:45 - 15:00

Many of our seminars and public events this year will continue as in person or as hybrid (online and in person) events. Please check our website listings and Twitter feed @STICERD_LSE for updates.

Unless otherwise specified, in-person seminars are open to the public.

Those unable to join the seminars in-person are welcome to participate via zoom if the event is hybrid.

About this event

We provide evidence of a powerful barrier to social learning: people are much less sensitive to information others discover compared to equally relevant information they discover themselves. In a series of incentivized lab experiments, we ask participants to guess the colour composition of balls in an urn after drawing balls with replacement. Participants’ guesses are substantially less sensitive to draws made by another player compared to draws made themselves. This result holds when others’ signals must be learned through discussion, when they are perfectly communicated by the experimenter, and even when participants see their teammate drawing balls from the urn with their own eyes. We find a crucial role for taking some action to generate one’s ‘own’ information, and rule out distrust, confusion, errors in probabilistic thinking, up-front inattention and imperfect recall as channels.

STICERD Psychology and Economics seminars are held on Tuesdays in term time at different times and in various locations. Please see details on the individual listing.

Seminar organisers: Dr Kristóf Madarász

For further information please contact Lubala Chibwe:

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