New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2008‒03‒15
two papers chosen by
Daniela Raeva

  1. Better Than Conscious? The Brain, the Psyche, Behavior, and Institutions By Christoph Engel; Wolf Singer
  2. Modeling Option and Strategy Choices with Connectionist Networks: Towards an Integrative Model of Automatic and Deliberate Decision Making By Andreas Glöckner; Tilmann Betsch

  1. By: Christoph Engel (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn); Wolf Singer (Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Frankfurt/Main)
    Abstract: The title of this chapter is deliberately provocative. Intuitively, many will be inclined to see conscious control of mental process as a good thing. Yet control comes at a high price. The consciously not directly controlled, automatic, parallel processing of information is not only much faster, it also handles much more information, and it does so in a qualitatively different manner. This different mental machinery is not adequate for all tasks. The human ability to consciously deliberate has evolved for good reason. But on many more tasks than one might think at first sight, intuitive decision-making, or at least an intuitive component in a more complex mental process, does indeed improve performance. This chapter presents the issue, offers concepts to understand it, discusses the effects in terms of problem solving capacity, contrasts norms for saying when this is a good thing, and points to scientific and real world audiences for this work.
    JEL: C70 C91 D01 D81 K41
    Date: 2007–12
  2. By: Andreas Glöckner (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn); Tilmann Betsch (University of Erfurt)
    Abstract: We claim that understanding human decisions requires that both automatic and deliberate processes be considered. First, we sketch the qualitative differences between two hypothetical processing systems, an automatic and a deliberate system. Second, we show the potential that connectionism offers for modeling processes of decision making and discuss some empirical evidence. Specifically, we posit that the integration of information and the application of a selection rule are governed by the automatic system. The deliberate system is assumed to be responsible for information search, inferences and the modification of the network that the automatic processes act on. Third, we critically evaluate the multiple-strategy approach to decision making. We introduce the basic assumption of an integrative approach stating that individuals apply an all-purpose rule for decisions but use different strategies for information search. Fourth, we develop a connectionist framework that explains the interaction between automatic and deliberate processes and is able to account for choices both at the option and at the strategy level.
    Keywords: System 1, Intuition, Reasoning, Control, Routines, Connectionist Model, Parallel Constraint Satisfaction
    Date: 2008–01

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