nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2013‒11‒29
five papers chosen by
Daniel Houser
George Mason University

  1. The importance of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for measuring IQ By Borghans, Lex; Meijers, Huub; Weel, Bas ter
  2. Fostering and Measuring Skills: Interventions That Improve Character and Cognition By Heckman, James J.; Kautz, Tim
  3. Income Comparisons and Non-Cognitive Skills By Santi Budria; Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell
  4. Going Mental: Everyday Travel and the Cognitive Map By Mondschein, Andrew; Blumenberg, Evelyn; Taylor, Brian D.
  5. Conflicted Emotions Following Trust-based Interaction By Eric Schniter; Roman M. Sheremeta; Timothy W. Shields

  1. By: Borghans, Lex (Department of Economics and Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market, Maastricht University); Meijers, Huub (UNU-MERIT/MGSoG and Department of Economics, Maastricht University); Weel, Bas ter (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Research and Department of Economics, Maastricht University)
    Abstract: This research provides an economic model of the way people behave during an IQ test. We distinguish a technology that describes how time investment improves performance from preferences that determine how much time people invest in each question. We disentangle these two elements empirically using data from a laboratory experiment. The main findings are that both intrinsic (questions that people like to work on) and extrinsic motivation (incentive payments) increase time investments and as a result performance. The presence of incentive payments seems to be more important than the size of the reward. Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations turn out to be complements.
    Keywords: incentives, cognitive test scores
    JEL: J20 J24
    Date: 2013
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:unm:unumer:2013006&r=neu
  2. By: Heckman, James J. (University of Chicago); Kautz, Tim (University of Chicago)
    Abstract: This paper reviews the recent literature on measuring and boosting cognitive and noncognitive skills. The literature establishes that achievement tests do not adequately capture character skills – personality traits, goals, motivations, and preferences that are valued in the labor market, in school, and in many other domains. Their predictive power rivals that of cognitive skills. Reliable measures of character have been developed. All measures of character and cognition are measures of performance on some task. In order to reliably estimate skills from tasks, it is necessary to standardize for incentives, effort, and other skills when measuring any particular skill. Character is a skill, not a trait. At any age, character skills are stable across different tasks, but skills can change over the life cycle. Character is shaped by families, schools, and social environments. Skill development is a dynamic process, in which the early years lay the foundation for successful investment in later years. High-quality early childhood and elementary school programs improve character skills in a lasting and cost-effective way. Many of them beneficially affect later-life outcomes without improving cognition. There are fewer long-term evaluations of adolescent interventions, but workplace-based programs that teach character skills are promising. The common feature of successful interventions across all stages of the life cycle through adulthood is that they promote attachment and provide a secure base for exploration and learning for the child. Successful interventions emulate the mentoring environments offered by successful families.
    Keywords: character, achievement tests, skill development, interventions
    JEL: D01 I20 J24
    Date: 2013–11
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7750&r=neu
  3. By: Santi Budria; Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell
    Abstract: People gain utility from occupying a higher ranked position in the income distribution of the reference group. This paper investigates whether these gains depend on an individual’s set of non-cognitive skills. Using the 2000-2008 waves of the German Socioeconomic Panel dataset (SOEP), a subjective question on Life Satisfaction, and three different sets of non-cognitive skills indicators, we find significant and robust differences across skills groups. People who are more neurotic, extravert and have low external locus of control and low negative reciprocity are more sensitive to their individual position in the economic ladder. By contrast, the Life Satisfaction reaction to changes in economic status is significantly lower among individuals who score high (low) in negative (positive) reciprocity, and are at the bottom of the distribution of neuroticism, extraversion. The heterogeneity on the importance of income comparisons needs to be taken into account when, for example, introducing them into economic models, predicting individuals’ behaviour, or making welfare judgments.
    Keywords: life satisfaction, income comparisons, personality traits
    JEL: D62 I31
    Date: 2013–11
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:bge:wpaper:733&r=neu
  4. By: Mondschein, Andrew; Blumenberg, Evelyn; Taylor, Brian D.
    Keywords: Architecture, Education, Engineering, Law, Social and Behavioral Sciences
    Date: 2013–10–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cdl:uctcwp:qt9k4908w2&r=neu
  5. By: Eric Schniter (Economic Science Institute, Chapman University and Argyros School of Business and Economics, Chapman University); Roman M. Sheremeta (Economic Science Institute, Chapman University and Department of Economics, Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University); Timothy W. Shields (Economic Science Institute, Chapman University and Argyros School of Business and Economics, Chapman University)
    Abstract: We investigated whether 20 emotional states, reported by 170 participants after participating in a Trust game, were experienced in a patterned way predicted by the “Recalibrational Model” or Valence Models. According to the Recalibrational Model, new information about trust-based interaction outcomes triggers specific sets of emotions. Unlike Valence Models that predict reports of large sets of either positive or negative emotional states, the Recalibrational Model predicts the possibility of conflicted (concurrent positive and negative) emotional states. Consistent with the Recalibrational Model, we observed reports of conflicted emotional states activated after interactions where trust was demonstrated but trustworthiness was not. We discuss the implications of having conflicted goals and conflicted emotional states for both scientific and well-being pursuits.
    Keywords: emotion, affect valence, recalibrational theory, Trust game, experiment
    JEL: C73 C91 D87
    Date: 2013
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:chu:wpaper:13-28&r=neu

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