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Abstract This project seeks to assess the impact of time scarcity on an individual's optimizing behavior through a lab experiment. Participants will be given an assortment of homogeneous cognitive tasks with arbitrary point values subject to a randomized time limit. Their optimizing behavior will be a function of the order in which they choose to complete the tasks and this will be analyzed across assigned time limits to assess the impact of time scarcity. The project will examine both static (choice between anticipated tasks) and dynamic (choice between anticipated and unanticipated tasks) optimization by randomly selecting participants to receive additional “interruption” tasks during the experiment. Since optimization is in itself a cognitive task and previous studies have demonstrated cognitive function declines as scarcity intensifies, the expected outcome will show an individual's propensity to optimize declines as their time constraint tightens, resulting in inefficient use of time and suboptimal outcomes. Should the results be consistent with this hypothesis, this project will build on recent analyses of poverty and the scarcity mindset, contributing lack of optimization as an additional mechanism by which scarcity perpetuates poverty. This project seeks to assess the impact of time scarcity on an individual's optimizing behavior through a lab experiment. Participants will be given an assortment of homogeneous cognitive tasks with arbitrary point values subject to a randomized time limit. Their optimizing behavior will be a function of the order in which they choose to complete the tasks and this will be analyzed across assigned time limits to assess the impact of time scarcity. The project will examine both static (choice between anticipated tasks) and dynamic (choice between anticipated and unanticipated tasks) optimization by randomly selecting participants to receive additional “interruption” tasks during the experiment. Since optimization is in itself a cognitive task and previous studies have demonstrated cognitive function declines as scarcity intensifies, the expected outcome will show an individual's propensity to optimize declines as their time constraint tightens, resulting in inefficient use of time and suboptimal outcomes. The project will build on recent analyses of poverty and the scarcity mindset, contributing lack of optimization as an additional mechanism by which scarcity perpetuates poverty.
Last Published April 06, 2015 02:22 PM April 06, 2015 03:56 PM
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