We study learning in a game where there is an optimal strategy. Learning the optimal strategy involves solving a “eureka” type logic problem, as it requires grasping an insight that is hard to learn but, once learned, can easily be explained to other people. Individuals only learn slowly to use the optimal strategy, with two subject teams with fixed members performing no better than individuals. Rematching teammates into new two subject teams immediately results in a large and persistent increase in use of the optimal strategy. This is driven by “mixed” teams, where one teammate was previously in a team that did not play optimally and one was in a team that did play optimally. These mixed teams almost always adopt the optimal strategy, consistent with a truth wins model. This has important implications for any setting where decision makers are likely to be groups rather than individuals, as reshuffling team membership may be an important source of learning how to play strategically.
(Together with John H. Kagel)