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Overcoming Routine: A 21st Century Skill for a 21st Century Economy

Ulrich Strunz () and Christian Chlupsa ()
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Ulrich Strunz: Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia
Christian Chlupsa: FOM University of Economics and Management

International Journal of Economic Sciences, 2019, vol. 8, issue 2, 109-126

Abstract: The aim of this study is to show that overcoming routine holds efficiency potential in complex decision environments and to find an indication on what percentage of decision-makers will successfully overcome routine, when thinking time is not incentivized. Curiosity might favor non-routine behavior, as it is the recognition, pursuit and desire to explore uncertain and ambiguous events. Two hundred sixty-two US-American Mturks completed both a curiosity questionnaire and an experiment in the form of a cognitive puzzle game. High values in self-reported ?Joyous Exploration? were not associated with larger numbers of experimental decisions. Contrary to findings where exploration served as a predictor for performance in human-computer interaction and as a mediator for ?error learning? (Frese, 1994), participants who performed better relied less on exploratory decisions. Only about 10 % were able to overcome their routine behavior, confirming that induced routine can have a strong influence on behavior (Betsch, Haberstroh, Glöckner, Haar, & Fiedler, 2001). Those who overcame routine reported higher response times when being framed by unexpected feedback, but solved the experiment more efficiently. This is in line with research that fast, intuitive decisions increase framing effects (Guo et al., 2017) and exploration is time-costly (Athukorala, 2015). As described in research, this study further strengthens insights that performance in solving complex problems relies heavily on rule identification, rule knowledge and rule application (Wüstenberg, Greiff, & Funke, 2012).

Keywords: complex problem solving; dynamic decision making; response time; decision bias; mental model; cognitive reflection; minimal complex system; overcoming routine; non-routine task; curiosity; emotion (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D81 D83 D91 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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