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dc.contributor.advisor Goldstone, Robert L.
dc.contributor.advisor Ostrom, Elinor
dc.contributor.author Wisdom, Thomas Nathaniel en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2010-12-13T21:02:04Z
dc.date.available 2027-08-13T20:02:04Z
dc.date.available 2012-03-11T23:58:43Z
dc.date.issued 2010-12-13T21:02:04Z
dc.date.submitted 2010 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2022/9785
dc.description Thesis (Ph.D.) - Indiana University, Psychology, 2010 en_US
dc.description.abstract Humans' extraordinary talents for learning from their environments and from each other are the basis of cultural and technological development, but factors affecting the use of these skills such as time, information differences, group size, and material incentives are not yet completely understood. We used a series of laboratory experiments to investigate the causes, consequences, and dynamics of social learning strategies employed by groups of people in complex search environments, and how individual imitation and innovation behaviors affect results at the group level. In these experiments, participants played a simple computer-based puzzle game with others, in which guesses were composed of sets of discrete units that had both linear and interactive effects on score, and each player could view and imitate entire guesses or parts of guesses from others in the group. Players received round-based score feedback about the quality of their own guesses, and in some cases, others' guesses. Our results showed that participants used several social learning strategies previously studied in other species, as well as strategies studied in the context of innovation diffusion, such as imitation biases toward solutions similar to one's own, and toward increasingly popular solutions. We found that the risk of exploring in a large and complex problem space caused participants to take a conservative approach, with small amounts of innovation and imitation used to acquire good solutions and make incremental changes in the search for better ones. Finally, we found that imitation, rather than merely being used to copy others and avoid exploration, was often used by group members to improve on each others' guesses. Contextual factors that disrupted or discouraged imitation generally resulted in poorer outcomes for the entire group, because of a reduced capacity for participants to create such cumulative improvements. These results are discussed in the context of knowledge as a commons, with implications for the promotion of innovations and intellectual property policy. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher [Bloomington, Ind.] : Indiana University en_US
dc.rights This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0) License
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/
dc.subject innovation en_US
dc.subject intellectual property en_US
dc.subject social learning en_US
dc.subject collective behavior en_US
dc.subject imitation en_US
dc.subject.classification Psychology, Cognitive en_US
dc.subject.classification Psychology, Social en_US
dc.subject.classification Psychology, Experimental en_US
dc.title Incentives, Innovation, and Imitation: Social Learning in a Networked Group en_US
dc.type Doctoral Dissertation en_US


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This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0) License This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0) License

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