New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2012‒03‒08
three papers chosen by

  1. Impulsive Consumption and Reflexive Thought: Nudging Ethical Consumer Behavior By Leonhard K. Lades
  2. Cognitive hierarchies in adaptive play By Khan Abhimanyu; Peeters Ronald
  3. Self Centred Beliefs: An Empircal Approach By Proto, Eugenio; Sgroi, Daniel

  1. By: Leonhard K. Lades
    Abstract: The paper deals with impulsive consumption and highlights the roles that cognitive and motivational aspects of reflexive thought (namely self-control and self-image motives, respectively) play in intertemporal decisions. While self-control inhibits individuals from consuming impulsively, self-image motives can induce impulsive consumption. Based on recent neuroscientific findings about 'wanting'–'liking' dissociations, the paper presents a potential motivational mechanism underlying such impulsive consumption decisions. Utilizing the knowledge of this mechanism and acknowledging both cognitive and motivational aspects of reflexive thought, the paper expands on three libertarian paternalistic means to foster an ethical way of impulsive consumption: strengthening willpower, reducing impulsive desires to consume, and guiding impulsive behavior in ethical directions by making salient certain self-images that favor ethical consumption.
    Keywords: Impulsive Consumption, 'Wanting' versus 'Liking', Ethical Consumption, Libertarian Paternalism subjective well-being, happiness, welfare economics, preference learning
    JEL: B B52 D03 D91 K2 Q3
    Date: 2012–03–01
  2. By: Khan Abhimanyu; Peeters Ronald (METEOR)
    Abstract: Inspired by the behavior in repeated guessing game experiments, we study adaptive play bypopulations containing individuals that reason with different levels of cognition. Individualsplay a higher order best response to samples from the empirical data on the history of play, wherethe order of best response is determined by their exogenously given level of cognition. As inYoung''s model of adaptive play, (unperturbed) play still converges to a minimal curb set. However,with the random perturbations of this (higher order) best response dynamic, the stochasticallystable states obtained may now be different, but in a deterministic manner. Perhapscounter-intuitively, higher cognition may actually be bad for both the individual with highercognition and his parent population.
    Keywords: microeconomics ;
    Date: 2012
  3. By: Proto, Eugenio (University of Warwick); Sgroi, Daniel (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: We perform an experiment designed to assess the accuracy of beliefs about distributions. The beliefs relate to behavior (mobile phone purchasing decisions, hypothetical restaurant choices), attitudes (happiness, politics) and observable characteristics (height, weight) and are typically formed through real world experiences. We nd a powerful and ubiquitous bias in perceptions that is \self-centered" in the sense that an individual's beliefs about the population distribution changes with their own position in the distribution. In particular, those at extremes tend to perceive themselves as closer to the middle of the distribution than is the case. We discuss possible explanations for this bias
    Keywords: subjective beliefs, attitudes, observable characteristics, self-centered bias
    Date: 2012

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