Belief Updating in Individual and Social Learning: A Field Experiment on the Internet

29 Pages Posted: 30 May 2007

Date Written: May 2007

Abstract

We conducted a field experiment on the Internet and investigated the participants' belief updating in an individual learning environment where they observe a sequence of private signals and in a social learning environment where they observe a sequence of other people's actions. We observed that participants do not update their posterior beliefs as efficiently as Bayesian, and that participants rely more on private signals than on other people's actions even when the informativeness of both is identical. Furthermore, we confirmed that participant's trust in other people's actions and their conformity to other people's actions are affected by their demographic characteristics.

Keywords: Belief updating, individual learning, social learning, field experiment, conformity

JEL Classification: C93, D83

Suggested Citation

Sasaki, Shunichiro and Kawagoe, Toshiji, Belief Updating in Individual and Social Learning: A Field Experiment on the Internet (May 2007). ISER Discussion Paper No. 690. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=989689 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.989689

Shunichiro Sasaki (Contact Author)

Kinki University ( email )

3-4-1 Kowakae
Higashi-Osaka, Osaka 577-8502 577-8502
Japan

Toshiji Kawagoe

Future University Hakodate ( email )

116-2 Kamedanakano-cho
Hakodate Hokkaido, 041-8655
Japan
+81-138-34-6424 (Phone)
+81-138-34-6301 (Fax)

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