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Naturally-occurring sleep choice and time of day effects on p-beauty contest outcomes

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  • David L. Dickinson
  • Todd McElroy

Abstract

We explore the behavioral consequences of sleep loss and time-of-day (circadian) effects on a particular type of decision making. Subject sleep is monitored for the week prior to a decision experiment, which is then conducted at 8 a.m. or 8 p.m. A validated circadian preference instrument allows us to randomly assign subjects to a more or less preferred time-of-day session. The well-known p-beauty contest (a.k.a., the guessing game) is administered to examine how sleep loss and circadian mismatch affect subject reasoning and learning. We find that the subject responses are consistent with significantly lower levels of iterative reasoning when ‘sleep deprived’ or at non-optimal times-of-day. A non-linear effect is estimated to indicate that too much sleep also leads to choices consistent with lower levels of reasoning, with an apparent optimum at close to 7 hours sleep per night. However, repeated play shows that sleep loss and non-optimal times-of-day do not affect learning or adaptation in response to information feedback. Our results apply to environments where anticipation is important, such as in coordination games, stock trading, driving, etc. These findings have important implications for the millions of adults considered sleep deprived, as well as those employed in shift work occupations. Key Words:

Suggested Citation

  • David L. Dickinson & Todd McElroy, 2009. "Naturally-occurring sleep choice and time of day effects on p-beauty contest outcomes," Working Papers 09-03, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:apl:wpaper:09-03
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    File URL: http://econ.appstate.edu/RePEc/pdf/wp0903.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lisa A. Kramer & Mark J. Kamstra & Maurice D. Levi, 2000. "Losing Sleep at the Market: The Daylight Saving Anomaly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1005-1011, September.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    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. Stahl, Dale O., 1996. "Boundedly Rational Rule Learning in a Guessing Game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 303-330, October.
    6. 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.
    7. Brit Grosskopf & Rosemarie Nagel, 2007. "Rational reasoning or adaptive behavior? Evidence from two-person beauty contest games," Economics Working Papers 1068, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
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    Cited by:

    1. David L. Dickinson & Todd McElroy, 2009. "Flying Airplanes: Realizing Circadian Effects (FARCE)," Working Papers 09-16, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
    2. Dickinson, David L. & McElroy, Todd, 2010. "Rationality around the clock: Sleep and time-of-day effects on guessing game responses," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 245-248, August.

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