INSTITUTO DE INVESTIGACION EN CIENCIAS DE LA COMPUTACION
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Time to decide: Diurnal variations on the speed and quality of human decisions
LEONE, MARÍA JULIANA; FERNANDEZ SLEZAK, DIEGO; SIGMAN, MARIANO; LEONE, MARÍA JULIANA; GOLOMBEK, DIEGO; SIGMAN, MARIANO; GOLOMBEK, DIEGO; FERNANDEZ SLEZAK, DIEGO
Año: 2017 vol. 158 p. 44 - 55
Human behavior and physiology exhibit diurnal fluctuations. These rhythms are entrained by light and social cues, with vast individual differences in the phase of entrainment - referred as an individual´s chronotype - ranging in a continuum between early larks and late owls. Understanding whether decision-making in real-life situations depends on the relation between time of the day and an individual´s diurnal preferences has both practical and theoretical implications. However, answering this question has remained elusive because of the difficulty of measuring precisely the quality of a decision in real-life scenarios. Here we investigate diurnal variations in decision-making as a function of an individual´s chronotype capitalizing on a vast repository of human decisions: online chess servers. In a chess game, every player has to make around 40 decisions using a finite time budget and both the time and quality of each decision can be accurately determined. We found reliable diurnal rhythms in activity and decision-making policy. During the morning, players adopt a prevention focus policy (slower and more accurate decisions) which is later modified to a promotion focus (faster but less accurate decisions), without daily changes in performance.