nep-cbe New Economics Papers
on Cognitive and Behavioural Economics
Issue of 2018‒10‒22
five papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Food Anticipation Enhances Cognitive Ability of Overweight and Obese in the Presence of Hunger By Segovia, Michelle S.; Palma, Marco A.; Nayga Jr., Rodolfo M.
  2. On the relevance of income and behavioral factors for absolute and relative donations: A framed field experiment By Simixhiu, Amantia; Ziegler, Andreas
  3. When Choosing is Painful: A Psychological Opportunity Cost Model By Emmanuelle Gabillon
  4. Experimental and non-experimental evidence on limited attention and present bias at the gym By Muller, Paul; Habla, Wolfgang
  5. Attribution biases in Leadership: Is it effort or luck ? By Nisvan Erkal; Lata Gangadharan; Boon Han Koh

  1. By: Segovia, Michelle S.; Palma, Marco A.; Nayga Jr., Rodolfo M.
    Abstract: By randomizing the order in which participants perform a cognitive test and a food choice task in a controlled experiment, we show that overweight and obese participants exhibit an anticipatory food reward effect. Eye tracking data revealed that temptation, in the form of visual attention, and emotional arousal was higher under low cognitive resources. The anticipation of food reward helped enhance the mental resources of overweight and obese individuals and improve their performance in a cognitive test. However, there was no anticipation reward among normal weight participants. Our results support the notion that rewarding processes underlying food intake present similar patterns to those behind other forms of addiction.
    Keywords: Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Health Economics and Policy, Institutional and Behavioral Economics
    Date: 2018–01–10
  2. By: Simixhiu, Amantia; Ziegler, Andreas
    Abstract: Based on data from a computer-based survey among more than 500 German respondents, this paper empirically examines the effect of actual equivalent income and estimated income position as well as behavioral factors on absolute and relative donations. Donations were measured in an incentivized framed field experiment, i.e. the respondents could spend money for three prominent environmental and social organizations. The perceived relative income refers to the estimated percentage of German households with a lower equivalent income compared to the own equivalent income. Furthermore, the behavioral factors are based on experimentally validated survey questions. Our preliminary econometric analysis with Tobit models shows that both actual equivalent income and estimated income position have significantly positive effects on absolute donations, whereby the effect of actual equivalent income is more dominant. This suggests that income perceptions play a minor role for donations compared to actual income. Surprisingly and in contrast to previous studies, income has a solid significantly negative effect on relative donations for all income groups. In addition, negative reciprocity has a significantly negative effect on both absolute and relative donations, which underlines the relevance at least of this behavioral factor. The estimation results also reveal that life satisfaction is significantly positively related with absolute donations. This suggests that positive feelings play an important role for donation activities.
    Keywords: Environmental and social donations,behavioral factors,actual equivalent income,estimated income position,Tobit models,framed field experiment
    JEL: C93 D31 D64 H24 H40
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Emmanuelle Gabillon
    Abstract: This paper is a contribution to regret theory, which we generalize in two ways. Since the intensity of regret depends on the information the decision-maker has about the results of the foregone strategies, we build a model of choice which accommodates any feedback structure. We also show that the reference point, which characterizes the regret utility function introduced by Quiggin (1994), does not always represent a feeling of regret. It corresponds to a broader concept, which we call psychological opportunity cost (POC), of which regret is no more than a specific expression. We find behavioral deviations from the predictions of the Expected Utility Theory. We obtain correlation loving, greater reluctance to take on risk and we highlight some harmful effects of information. Our model equally offers a theoretical framework for experimental studies about inaction inertia.
    Keywords: choice, correlation loving, emotion, inaction inertia, information, regret.
    JEL: D03 D81 D82
    Date: 2018
  4. By: Muller, Paul; Habla, Wolfgang
    Abstract: We show that limited attention and present bias contribute to low levels of exercise. First, in a large randomized experiment, we find that email reminders increase gym visits by 13 % and that they benefit nearly all types of individuals. Limited attention can explain these effects. Second, using a novel dataset, we find that many bookings for gym classes are canceled, and that bookings are made even for classes that never have a waiting list. Comparing these findings to the predictions of a dynamic discrete choice model, we conclude that many gym members use bookings to commit themselves to future attendance.
    Keywords: health behavior,randomized experiment,reminders,nudging,habit formation,limited attention,time inconsistency
    JEL: C93 D91 I12
    Date: 2018
  5. By: Nisvan Erkal (Department of Economics, The University of Melbourne); Lata Gangadharan (Department of Economics, Monash University); Boon Han Koh (Department of Economics, The University of Melbourne)
    Abstract: Leaders often make decisions under risk and uncertainty. Using a controlled laboratory experiment motivated by a simple theoretical framework, we investigate group members' biases in the attribution of their leaders' outcomes in an environment where only outcomes are observable. We find that group members' expectations about the leader's type are shaped by the leadership appointment mechanism. Moreover, upon observing the outcomes of their leaders' decisions, members attribute good outcomes more to luck and place too little weight on their prior beliefs in their updating behavior. Importantly, we find that the biases tend to be driven by those subjects who choose low effort as leaders.
    Keywords: Leadership; Decision-making under risk; Beliefs about others' actions;
    JEL: C92 D91 D81
    Date: 2018–08

This nep-cbe issue is ©2018 by Marco Novarese. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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