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Circadian effects on strategic reasoning

  • David Dickinson

    ()

  • Todd McElroy

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

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10683-011-9307-3
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Experimental Economics.

Volume (Year): 15 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 444-459

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Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:15:y:2012:i:3:p:444-459
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102888

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  1. Miguel A. Costa-Gomes & Vincent P. Crawford, 2004. "Cognition and Behavior in Two-Person Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," ISER Discussion Paper 0613, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  2. Grosskopf, Brit & Nagel, Rosemarie, 2008. "The two-person beauty contest," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 93-99, January.
  3. Nagel, Rosemarie, 1995. "Unraveling in Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1313-26, December.
  4. Rosemarie Nagel & Antoni Bosch-Domènech & Albert Satorra & José García Montalvo, 1999. "One, two, (three), infinity: Newspaper and lab beauty-contest experiments," Economics Working Papers 438, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  5. 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.
  6. Ho, Teck Hua & Weigelt, Keith & Camerer, Colin, 1996. "Iterated Dominance and Iterated Best-Response in Experimental P-Beauty Contests," Working Papers 974, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  7. Stahl, Dale O., 1996. "Boundedly Rational Rule Learning in a Guessing Game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 303-330, October.
  8. 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.
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