New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2014‒04‒11
three papers chosen by

  1. Peer Effects and Students’ Self-Control By Berno Buechel; Lydia Mechtenberg; Julia Petersen;
  2. Brainstorming versus creative design reasoning By Akin Osman Kazakci; Thomas Gillier; Gerald Piat; Armand Hatchuel
  3. Effects of Stress on Economic Decision-Making: Evidence from Laboratory Experiments By Delaney, Liam; Fink, Günther; Harmon, Colm P.

  1. By: Berno Buechel; Lydia Mechtenberg; Julia Petersen;
    Abstract: We conducted a multi-wave field experiment to study the interaction of peer effects and selfcontrol among undergraduate students. We use a behavioral measure of self-control based on whether students achieve study related goals they have set for themselves. We find that both self-control and the number of talented friends increase students’ performance. We then set out to test the theoretical prediction of Battaglini, Bénabou and Tirole (2005) that (only) sufficiently self-controlled individuals profit from interactions with peers. We find that peers with high self-control are more likely to connect to others, have a higher overall number of friends and have a higher number of talented friends. Moreover, positive news about self-controlled behavior of their peers increases students’ own perseverance. Hence, our findings are consistent with the model of Battaglini, Bénabou and Tirole. In addition, we find that female students are more likely to have high self-control, but do not outperform male students. One reason for this is that female students have a lower number of talented friends than their male counterparts, thereby profiting less from positive peer effects.
    Keywords: Self-control, Peer Influence, Social Networks, Goals, Time preferences, Procrastination, Willpower, School Performance, Experiment
    JEL: C93 D85 I21 J24
    Date: 2014–04
  2. By: Akin Osman Kazakci (CGS - Centre de Gestion Scientifique - MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris); Thomas Gillier (ERPI - Equipe de Recherche sur les Processus Innovatifs - Institut National Polytechnique de Lorraine (INPL) - Ecole Nationale Supérieure en Génie des Systèmes Industriels); Gerald Piat (EDF R&D - EDF); Armand Hatchuel (CGS - Centre de Gestion Scientifique - MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris)
    Abstract: In industrial settings, brainstorming is seen as an effective technique for creativity in innovation processes. However, bulk of research on brainstorming is based on an oversimplified view of the creativity process. Participants are seen as idea generators and the process aims at maximizing the quantity of ideas produced, and the evaluation occurs post-process based on some originality and feasibility criteria. Design theories can help enrich this simplistic process model. The present study reports an experimental investigation of creativity process within the context of real-life design ideation task. Results lead to the rejection of the classical 'quantity breeds quality' hypothesis. Rather, we observe that successful groups are the ones who produce a few original propositions that hold great value for users while looking for ways to make those propositions feasible.
    Date: 2014–04–02
  3. By: Delaney, Liam (University of Stirling); Fink, Günther (Harvard School of Public Health); Harmon, Colm P. (University of Sydney)
    Abstract: The ways in which preferences respond to the varying stress of economic environments is a key question for behavioral economics and public policy. We conducted a laboratory experiment to investigate the effects of stress on financial decision making among individuals aged 50 and older. Using the cold pressor task as a physiological stressor, and a series of intelligence tests as cognitive stressors, we find that stress increases subjective discounting rates, has no effect on the degree of risk-aversion, and substantially lowers the effort individuals make to learn about financial decisions.
    Keywords: stress, financial decisions, discounting, risk aversion, learning
    JEL: D91 I31
    Date: 2014–03

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