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Imitation under stress

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  • Buckert, Magdalena
  • Oechssler, Jörg
  • Schwieren, Christiane

Abstract

Imitation has been shown to be an important heuristic, in particular in relatively complex environments. In this experiment we test whether subjects are more likely to use imitation if they are under time pressure or distracted. Subjects play a repeated Cournot oligopoly. Treatments are time pressure within the task and distractions through a second task (a Stroop-task) that has to be performed as well and influences payment. We additionally measure stress levels through salivary cortisol and heart rate. Our main findings are that time pressure and distraction can raise physiological stress levels of subjects within our task. More importantly from an economic perspective, we can also observe a corresponding behavioral change that is indicative of imitation.

Suggested Citation

  • Buckert, Magdalena & Oechssler, Jörg & Schwieren, Christiane, 2017. "Imitation under stress," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 252-266.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:139:y:2017:i:c:p:252-266
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2017.04.014
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    Cited by:

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    2. Kocher, Martin G. & Lucks, Konstantin E. & Schindler, David, 2016. "Unleashing Animal Spirits - Self-Control and Overpricing in Experimental Asset Markets," Discussion Papers in Economics 27572, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    3. Duffy, Sean & Naddeo, JJ & Owens, David & Smith, John, 2016. "Cognitive load and mixed strategies: On brains and minimax," MPRA Paper 89720, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Lubomír Cingl, 2018. "Social learning under acute stress," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 13(8), pages 1-26, August.
    5. Anna Louisa Merkel & Johannes Lohse, 2019. "Is fairness intuitive? An experiment accounting for subjective utility differences under time pressure," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 22(1), pages 24-50, March.
    6. Delfino, Alexia & Marengo, Luigi & Ploner, Matteo, 2016. "I did it your way. An experimental investigation of peer effects in investment choices," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 113-123.
    7. Merkel, Anna & Lohse, Johannes, 2016. "Is fairness intuitive? An experiment accounting for the role of subjective utility differences under time pressure," Working Papers 0627, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    8. Belot, Michèle & James, Jonathan & Vecchi, Martina & Vitt, Nicolai, 2019. "Stress and Food Preferences: A Lab Experiment with Low-SES Mothers," IZA Discussion Papers 12674, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Anja Achtziger & Carlos Alós-Ferrer & Alexander Ritschel, 2020. "Cognitive load in economic decisions," ECON - Working Papers 354, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    10. De Paola, Maria & Gioia, Francesca & Pupo, Valeria, 2020. "Selection and Incentives under Time Pressure: The Importance of Framing," IZA Discussion Papers 13474, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Anders Poulsen & Axel Sonntag, 2019. "Focality is Intuitive - Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Time Pressure in Coordination Games," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 19-01, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    12. Duffy, Sean & Gussman, Steven & Smith, John, 2019. "Judgments of length in the economics laboratory: Are there brains in choice?," MPRA Paper 93126, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Alós-Ferrer, Carlos & Ritschel, Alexander, 2021. "Multiple behavioral rules in Cournot oligopolies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 183(C), pages 250-267.
    14. Martin G Kocher & Konstantin E Lucks & David Schindler, 2019. "Unleashing Animal Spirits: Self-Control and Overpricing in Experimental Asset Markets," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 32(6), pages 2149-2178.
    15. Niu, Xiaofei & Li, Jianbiao, 2019. "How Time Constraint Affects the Disposition Effect?," EconStor Preprints 194618, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Stress; Cortisol; Heart rate; Imitation; Experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions

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