New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2010‒05‒15
six papers chosen by

  1. Evolution of Theories of Mind By Mohlin, Erik
  2. Social Preferences and Perceived Intentions. An experiment with Normally Developing and Autistic Spectrum Disorders Subjects By V.Pelligra; A.Isoni; R.Fadda; I.Doneddu
  3. In praise of ambidexterity: How a continuum of handedness predicts social adjustment By Kevin Denny; Wen Zhang
  4. ‘Let me dream on!’ Anticipatory Emotions and Preference for Timing in Lotteries By Martin Kocher; Michal Krawczyk; Frans van Winden
  5. Reconciling Pro-Social vs. Selfish Behavior - Evidence for the Role of Self-Control By Martinsson, Peter; Myrseth, Kristian Ove R.; Wollbrant, Conny
  6. Self-generated Validity, Framing Effects, and Survey Research in IS By Wendy Hui

  1. By: Mohlin, Erik (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper studies evolution of peoples' models of how other people think -- their theories of mind. For the case of games that are played for the first time, people are assumed to form beliefs according to the level-k model. This model postulates a hierarchy of types, such that an individual of type k plays a k times iterated best response to the uniform distribution. For the case of learning, it is assumed that the lowest type behaves in accordance with fictitious play, and that there is a hierarchy of more sophisticated types, which play iterated best responses to this. The models are also extended to allow for partial observability, in the sense that a higher type recognize and best respond to lower types, but not vice versa. Evolution according to the replicator dynamic is studied both across and within games. It is found that evolution may lead to stable states where different types, including low types, co-exist. This holds even when types are not observed.
    Keywords: Theory of Mind; Evolution; Learning; Level-k; Fictitious Play; Cognitive Hierarchy
    JEL: C73 D83
    Date: 2010–05–04
  2. By: V.Pelligra; A.Isoni; R.Fadda; I.Doneddu
    Abstract: Models of social preferences explain departures from pure self-interest as a consequence of either outcome-based or intention-based other-regarding motives. Various experimental studies lend support to the conclusion that subjects behave as if they conditioned their behaviour on the perceived intentions of others. We present a new experiment that explores this as if clause by making the ability to detect intentions a treatment variable. We compare normally developing children with autistic children – typically unable to perceive intentions – and find differences consistent with the hypothesis that behaviour responds to intentions, especially if unkind.
    Keywords: Social Preferences; Theory of Mind; Intentionality; Autism
    JEL: C72 C91
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Kevin Denny (University College Dublin); Wen Zhang (University of Cardiff)
    Abstract: This paper estimates the relationship between handedness and social adjustment. In addition to binary measures of hand preference, we also use a continuous measure of hand skill. Outcomes at ages 7, 11 and 16 are studied. Using a semi-parametric estimator it is shown that non-righthandedness (as hand-preference) is associated with poorer social adjustment but this effect disappears as the individuals age. The continuous measure of hand skill has a non-monotonic effect on social adjustment with poorer social adjustment at the extreme values of the continuum. Poorer social adjustment in childhood has been shown to predict poorer socio-economic outcomes later in life.
    Keywords: handedness, non-cognitive ability, delinquency, laterality
    Date: 2010–03–22
  4. By: Martin Kocher (University of Munich); Michal Krawczyk (Warsaw University); Frans van Winden (CREED, University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: We analyze one of the explanations why people participate in lotteries. Our hypothesis stipulates that part of the value that a unit of money buys in lotteries is consumed before the actual resolution in the form of emotions such as hope. In other words, a person holding a lottery ticket may prefer a delayed resolution of risk due to positive anticipatory emotions. This conjecture is tested in an experiment with real lottery tickets. We show that our theoretical considerations may contribute to explaining empirical puzzles associated with lottery participation, timing of resolution and the spreading of drawings. More specifically, we find that a substantial number of participants prefer delayed resolution, that anticipated thrill is the main variable explaining this choice, that emotions actually experienced during the waiting period are indeed predominantly positive and correlated with predictions. Finally, we find that a great majority prefers to 'spread' chances, that is, to obtain one ticket for each of two drawings rather than two for the same drawing.
    Keywords: lotteries; anticipation; experiment
    JEL: C93 D81
    Date: 2009–11–12
  5. By: Martinsson, Peter (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Myrseth, Kristian Ove R. (ESMT European School of Management and Technology); Wollbrant, Conny (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: We test the proposition that individuals may experience a self-control conflict between short-term temptation to be selfish and better judgment to act pro-socially. Using a dictator game and a public goods game, we manipulated the likelihood that individuals identified self-control conflict, and we measured their trait ability to implement self-control strategies. Consistent with our hypothesis, we find that trait self-control exhibits a positive and significant correlation with pro-social behavior in the treatment that raises likelihood of conflict identification, but not in the treatment that reduces likelihood of conflict identification.<p>
    Keywords: self-control; pro-social behavior; altruism; experiment.
    JEL: D01 D64 D70
    Date: 2010–05–10
  6. By: Wendy Hui (Nottingham University Business School Ningbo, China)
    Abstract: Based on the accessibility-diagnosticity cognitive framework, we discuss self-generated validity and framing effects as two method biases that can threaten the validity of survey research results. Two empirical studies are used to establish their presence in IS research. We discuss their research implications, with a focus on model comparison and the testing of new instruments or theories. We also suggest a number methodological remedies that can control these method biases, including randomization or partial randomization of question items, temporal separation of construct measurements, replication of research studies, experimental methods and multilevel analysis with split-sample design.
    Keywords: IT; Questionnaire surveys, User acceptance of IT, IT diffusion and adoption.
    Date: 2010–05–06

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