New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2011‒07‒02
four papers chosen by

  1. Brain-Based Learning: The Neurological Findings About the Human Brain that Every Teacher Should Know to be Effective By Ronald Jean Degen
  2. Cognitive Disparities, Lead Plumbing, and Water Chemistry: Intelligence Test Scores and Exposure to Water-Borne Lead Among World War Two U.S. Army Enlistees By Joseph P. Ferrie; Karen Rolf; Werner Troesken
  3. What is the actual shape of perception utility? By Kontek, Krzysztof
  4. Searching for the Entrepreneurial Personality: New Evidence and Avenues for Further Research By Caliendo, Marco; Kritikos, Alexander S.

  1. By: Ronald Jean Degen (International School of Management Paris)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to present the main neurological findings about the human brain that provide the basis for brain-based learning, and that represent a narrow field of cognitive science as a whole. The findings that are described were made primarily by neuroscientists who studied the structure and functions of the nervous system with the purpose of correcting abnormalities. Only recently have neuroscientists begun studying the brain-based learning processes of normal students in detail (Fenker, et al., 2008; Jonides, et al., 2008; Kellman, & Massey, 2010; and Swanbrow, 2011). The neurological findings about the human brain were used by researchers such as Hart (1975, 1983), Caine & Caine (1990, 1991), Cain et al. (2009), Jensen (2008), and Medina (2008) to develop brain-based learning strategies that promote learning in accordance with the way the brain is naturally designed to learn.
    Keywords: brain-based learning, learning process, declarative memory, flow, optimal learning, guided-experience learning
    JEL: M0 M1
    Date: 2011–06–26
  2. By: Joseph P. Ferrie; Karen Rolf; Werner Troesken
    Abstract: Assessing the impact of lead exposure is difficult if individuals select on the basis of their characteristics into environments with different exposure levels. We address this issue with data from when the dangers of lead exposure were still largely unknown, using new evidence on intelligence test scores for male World War Two U.S. Army enlistees linked to the households where they resided in 1930. Higher exposure to water-borne lead (proxied by urban residence and low water pH levels) was associated with lower test scores: going from pH 6 to pH 5.5, scores fell 5 points (1/4 standard deviation). A longer time exposed led to a more severe effect. The ubiquity of lead in urban water systems at this time and uncertainty regarding its impact mean these effects are unlikely to have resulted from selection into locations with different levels of exposure.
    JEL: I10 N3
    Date: 2011–06
  3. By: Kontek, Krzysztof
    Abstract: Cumulative Prospect Theory (Kahneman, Tversky, 1979, 1992) holds that the value function is described using a power function, and is concave for gains and convex for losses. These postulates are questioned on the basis of recently reported experiments, paradoxes (gain-loss separability violation), and brain activity research. This paper puts forward the hypothesis that perception utility is generally logarithmic in shape for both gains and losses, and only happens to be convex for losses when gains are not present in the problem context. This leads to a different evaluation of mixed prospects than is the case with Prospect Theory: losses are evaluated using a concave, rather than a convex, utility function. In this context, loss aversion appears to be nothing more than the result of applying a logarithmic utility function over the entire outcome domain. Importantly, the hypothesis enables a link to be established between perception utility and Portfo-lio Theory (Markowitz, 1952A). This is not possible in the case of the Prospect Theory value function due its shape at the origin.
    Keywords: Prospect Theory; value function; perception utility; loss aversion; gain-loss separability violation; neuroscience; Portfolio Theory; Decision Utility Theory.
    JEL: D81 G11 D87 C91
    Date: 2011–06–20
  4. By: Caliendo, Marco (IZA); Kritikos, Alexander S. (DIW Berlin)
    Abstract: What makes the entrepreneurial personality is the key question we seek to answer in the special issue of the Journal of Economic Psychology on "Personality and Entrepreneurship". The contributions are clustered around questions regarding the linkage between personality, socio-economic factors and entrepreneurial development. Results further explain the gender puzzle, while, at the same time, it is clear that stereotypes of what makes the ideal entrepreneur must be revisited. This conclusion is based on new insights into the effects that variables, such as risk tolerance, trust and reciprocity, the value for autonomy and also external role models, have on entrepreneurial decision making. On a more general note, it is clear that more informative longitudinal data sets at the individual level are needed in order to find conclusive answers. In an ideal world researchers would have access to data that includes personality characteristics and psychological traits, motivational factors and cognitive skills. In this respect the research community needs to find new ways to collect these data and make them available for entrepreneurship research.
    Keywords: trust, entrepreneurship, personality characteristics, risk aversion, autonomy
    JEL: D81 J23 L26 M13
    Date: 2011–06

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