nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2015‒04‒11
four papers chosen by

  1. Selective Perceptions and Group Brainstorming: An Investigation of Auditors’ Fraud Risk Assessment By Desai, Naman; Gupta, Vishal
  2. Are Cognitive Constraints a Barrier to Annuitization? By Jeffrey R. Brown; Arie Kapteyn; Erzo F.P. Luttmer; Olivia S. Mitchell
  3. Sleep Duration and Life Satisfaction By Alan T. Piper
  4. The Role of Psychology in Austrian Economics and Game Theory: Subjectivity and Coordination By Richard Arena; Lauren Larrouy

  1. By: Desai, Naman; Gupta, Vishal
    Abstract: Individuals in an organizational context are routinely faced with complex problems that are not well defined and that challenge their cognitive capacities. To deal with such complex issues, decision-makers construct “belief-structures” which in turn create selective perceptions about information and events that prevent them from being overwhelmed by the amount and complexity of information. This study examines the impact of two important contextual variables; pressures and opportunities on auditors’ selective perceptions and fraud risk assessments. Research suggests that a situation relevant concept, norm, perspective, or cognitive process that is shared by a majority of the group members, will be exaggerated in a group setting where groups are trying to accomplish a task that does not have a normatively/demonstrably correct answer. In an audit setting, typically there are no normatively correct answers related to the weighting of different levels of pressures and opportunities while assessing fraud risk. Therefore we also examine how individual auditors’ selective perceptions affect group decisions. The results indicate that observed differences in individual auditors fraud risk assessments were significantly accentuated during group brainstorming. Thus, our findings suggest that, group brainstorming instead of reducing the influence of contextual characteristics on selective perception, actually accentuates that effect.
  2. By: Jeffrey R. Brown; Arie Kapteyn; Erzo F.P. Luttmer; Olivia S. Mitchell
    Abstract: The brief’s key findings are: *Even though retirees are increasingly responsible for deciding how to draw down their assets, few buy annuities. *Researchers have offered a host of explanations for the limited take-up, but the puzzle has never been solved. *This analysis finds that valuing annuities is hard for people, so they may only buy one if offered a very good deal. *To test this finding, alternative explanations were explored and the results were negative, strengthening the conclusion that people find annuities hard to value. *These results suggest that many individuals, on their own, may have difficulty making well-informed choices about managing their money in retirement.
  3. By: Alan T. Piper
    Abstract: Sleep is an important part of life, with an individual spending an estimated 32 years of her life asleep. Despite this importance, little is known about life satisfaction and sleep duration. Using German panel data, it is shown that sleep is an important factor for life satisfaction and that maximal life satisfaction is associated with about eight hours of sleep on a typical weekday. This figure represents, on average, an hour more than people currently sleep suggesting that more sleep would lead to a higher reported satisfaction with life.
    Keywords: Sleep, Life Satisfaction, SOEP, fixed effects
    JEL: C23 D10 I31
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Richard Arena (University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, France; GREDEG CNRS); Lauren Larrouy (University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, France; GREDEG CNRS)
    Abstract: In this contribution we relate the respective works of two important economists, Friedrich von Hayek and Michael Bacharach, namely one of the main intellectual leaders of the Austrian Schools and one of the most original game theorists. Hayek and Bacharach are two authors - few in number – who do not conceive that economic analysis could be built without the help of psychology. They both considered that subjective perceptions of the real world provide the first stage of decision processes and that, within this stage, psychological factors played a fundamental role. Therefore, they both proposed how perceptions, economic rationality and social coordination could be combined. However economists who really accept to take psychology into account often face new difficulties. The incorporation of subjectivity in economic behaviour can make much more complex the analysis of economic and social coordination. To overtake these new difficulties we will see that both Hayek and Bacharach integrate a specific approach to human cognition and resort to an evolutionary explanation of social coordination. This is the main message we deliver in this contribution.
    Keywords: Austrian economic theory, game theory, cognitive psychology, subjectivism, social coordination
    JEL: B21 B40 B53 C72 D01 D11 D50
    Date: 2015–03

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