Heart Rate Variability, the Autonomic Nervous System, and Neuroeconomic Experiments

Uwe Dulleck, Andrea Ristl, Markus Schaffner, Benno Torgler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Measuring the activity of the autonomic nervous system may yield insights into individual stress levels. One small, nonintrusive instrument for collecting such data is a high-resolution heart rate monitor that allows measurement of heart rate variability (HRV). This complements brain-scanning methods and increases the number of participants that can be studied simultaneously. Combining HRV data with recorded data on the decisions made in experimental games throws light on how different individuals react in (economic) decision-making situations. This article therefore introduces the HRV measurement method and, using data from an ultimatum bargaining experiment in a laboratory environment, illustrates its application in experimental economic research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-124
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Economics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes


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