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Circadian effects on strategic reasoning

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  • David Dickinson

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  • Todd McElroy

Abstract

The ability to strategically reason is important in many competitive environments. In this paper, we examine how relatively mild temporal variations in cognition affect reasoning in the Beauty Contest. The source of temporal cognition variation that we explore is the time-of-day that decisions are made. Our first result is that circadian mismatched subjects (i.e., those making decisions at off-peak time of day) display lower levels of strategic reasoning in the p>1 Beauty Contest but not in the p>1 game. This suggests that a cognitively more challenging environment is required for circadian mismatch to harm strategic reasoning. A second result is that choice adaptation or mimicry (i.e., a more automatic type of responding than what is typically considered to be “learning”) during repeated play is not significantly affected by circadian mismatch. This is consistent with the hypothesis that automatic thought is more resilient to cognitive resource depletion than controlled-thought decision making. Copyright Economic Science Association 2012

Suggested Citation

  • David Dickinson & Todd McElroy, 2012. "Circadian effects on strategic reasoning," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 15(3), pages 444-459, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:15:y:2012:i:3:p:444-459
    DOI: 10.1007/s10683-011-9307-3
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10683-011-9307-3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Antoni Bosch-Domènech & José G. Montalvo & Rosemarie Nagel & Albert Satorra, 2002. "One, Two, (Three), Infinity, ...: Newspaper and Lab Beauty-Contest Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1687-1701, December.
    2. Vincent P. Crawford & Miguel A. Costa-Gomes, 2006. "Cognition and Behavior in Two-Person Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1737-1768, December.
    3. Duffy, John & Nagel, Rosemarie, 1997. "On the Robustness of Behaviour in Experimental "Beauty Contest" Games," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1684-1700, November.
    4. Ho, Teck-Hua & Camerer, Colin & Weigelt, Keith, 1998. "Iterated Dominance and Iterated Best Response in Experimental "p-Beauty Contests."," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 947-969, September.
    5. Nagel, Rosemarie, 1995. "Unraveling in Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1313-1326, December.
    6. Stahl, Dale O., 1996. "Boundedly Rational Rule Learning in a Guessing Game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 303-330, October.
    7. Grosskopf, Brit & Nagel, Rosemarie, 2008. "The two-person beauty contest," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 93-99, January.
    8. Weber, Roberto A., 2003. "'Learning' with no feedback in a competitive guessing game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 134-144, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Allred, Sarah & Duffy, Sean & Smith, John, 2016. "Cognitive load and strategic sophistication," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 162-178.
    2. Marco Castillo & David L. Dickinson & Ragan Petrie, 2017. "Sleepiness, choice consistency, and risk preferences," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 82(1), pages 41-73, January.
    3. David L. Dickinson & Ananish Chaudhuri & Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy, 2017. "Trading while sleepy? Circadian mismatch and excess volatility in a global experimental asset market," Working Papers 17-06, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
    4. Glenn Dutcher, E., 2012. "The effects of telecommuting on productivity: An experimental examination. The role of dull and creative tasks," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 355-363.
    5. repec:eee:eecrev:v:97:y:2017:i:c:p:57-71 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Guessing game; Sleep; Circadian mismatch; Experiments; Rationality; C92; C70; D83;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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