Learning Versus Unlearning: An Experiment on Retractions

  title={Learning Versus Unlearning: An Experiment on Retractions},
  author={Duarte Gonccalves and Jonathan Libgober and Jack Willis},
  journal={SSRN Electronic Journal},
Widely discredited ideas nevertheless persist. Why do people fail to “unlearn”? We study one explanation: beliefs are resistant to retractions (the revoking of earlier information). Our experimental design identi€es unlearning—i.e., updating from retractions—and enables its comparison with learning from equivalent new information. Across di‚erent kinds of retractions—for instance, those consistent or contradictory with the prior, or those occurring when prior beliefs are either extreme or… 

Overinference from Weak Signals, Underinference from Strong Signals, and the Psychophysics of Interpreting Information

Numerous experiments have found that when people receive signals that would lead a Bayesian to substantially revise beliefs, they underinfer. This paper experimentally considers inference from a

Bad Science: Retractions and Media Coverage

Using a conditional difference-in-differences strategy, this paper shows that articles that gained popularity in the media at publication and were later retracted face heavy citation losses, while subsequent citations become more accurate.

Overinference from Weak Signals and Underinference from Strong Signals

It is shown that whether people overreact or underreact to news depends on how informative the news is, and an empirical method is developed to test overvs.



An Unlucky Feeling: Overconfidence and Noisy Feedback

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Observed choices between risky lotteries are difficult to reconcile with expected utility maximization, both because subjects appear to be too risk averse with regard to small gambles for this to

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We use laboratory experiments to study whether biases in beliefs grow more severe when people socially exchange these beliefs with one another. We elicit subjects’ (naturally biased) beliefs about

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Errors in Probabilistic Reasoning and Judgment Biases

  • D. Benjamin
  • Psychology
    Handbook of Behavioral Economics - Foundations and Applications 2
  • 2019
Errors in probabilistic reasoning have been the focus of much psychology research and are among the original topics of modern behavioral economics. This chapter reviews theory and evidence on this

The Fake News Effect: Experimentally Identifying Motivated Reasoning Using Trust in News

A novel experimental design is created to identify motivated reasoning from Bayesian updating when people enter into the experiment with endogenously different beliefs, and analyzes how subjects assess the veracity of information sources that tell them the median of their belief distribution is too high or too low.

What You See is All There is

  • B. Enke
  • Economics
    SSRN Electronic Journal
  • 2020
In the contexts of social networks and the news media alike, people often select into environments in which they are predominantly exposed to information that confirms their prior beliefs, hence

Good news and bad news are still news: experimental evidence on belief updating

Bayesian updating remains the benchmark for dynamic modeling under uncertainty within economics. Recent theory and evidence suggest individuals may process information asymmetrically when it relates