nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2015‒04‒19
five papers chosen by

  1. Working memory and spatial judgments: Cognitive load increases the central tendency bias By Sarah R., Allred; L. Elizabeth, Crawford; Sean, Duffy; John, Smith
  2. How Does Socio-Economic Status Shape a Child's Personality? By Thomas, Deckers; Armin, Falk; Fabian, Kosse; Hannah, Schildberg-Hörisch
  3. Do Negative Emotions Explain Punishment in Power-to-Take Game Experiments ? By Fabio Galeotti
  4. Not Through Fear But Through Habit. Procrastination, cognitive capabilities and self-confidence By Novarese, Marco; Di Giovinazzo, Viviana
  5. Depth of Reasoning and Higher Order Beliefs By Strzalecki, Tomasz

  1. By: Sarah R., Allred; L. Elizabeth, Crawford; Sean, Duffy; John, Smith
    Abstract: Previous work demonstrates that memory for simple stimuli can be biased by information about the category of which the stimulus is a member. Specifically, stimuli with values greater than the category’s average tend to be underestimated and stimuli with values less than the average are overestimated. This is referred to as the central tendency bias. This bias has been explained as an optimal use of both noisy sensory information and category information. In a largely separate literature, cognitive load experiments attempt to manipulate the available working memory of participants in order to observe its effect on choice or judgments. In three experiments, we demonstrate that participants under a high cognitive load exhibit a stronger central tendency bias than when under a low cognitive load. Although not anticipated at the outset, we also find that judgments exhibit an anchoring bias.
    Keywords: judgment; memory; anchoring; working memory; cognitive constraints; cognitive busyness
    JEL: C8 Z0
    Date: 2015–04–06
  2. By: Thomas, Deckers; Armin, Falk; Fabian, Kosse; Hannah, Schildberg-Hörisch
    Abstract: We show that socio-economic status (SES) is a powerful predictor of many facets of a child's personality. The facets of personality we investigate encompass time preferences, risk preferences, and altruism, as well as crystallized and fluid IQ. We measure a family's SES by the mother's and father's average years of education and household income. Our results show that children from families with higher SES are more patient, tend to be more altruistic and less likely to be risk seeking, and score higher on IQ tests. We also discuss potential pathways through which SES could affect the formation of a child's personality by documenting that many dimensions of a child's environment differ systematically by SES: parenting style, quantity and quality of time parents spend with their children, the mother's IQ and economic preferences, a child's initial conditions at birth, and family structure. Finally, we use panel data to show that the relationship between SES and personality is fairly stable over time at age 7 to 10. Personality profiles that vary systematically with SES might offer an explanation for social immobility.
    Keywords: personality; human capital; risk preferences; time preferences; altruism; experiments with children; origins of preferences; social immobility; socio-economic status
    JEL: C90 D64 D90 D81 J13 J24 J62
    Date: 2015–04–13
  3. By: Fabio Galeotti (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69007, France ; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne,F-69130 Ecully, France)
    Abstract: An important branch of economic research on emotions has used power-to-take game experiments to study the impact of negative emotions, such as anger, irritation and contempt, on the decision to punish. We investigate experimentally the role that the specific punishment technology adopted plays in this context, and test to what extent punishing behavior can be truly attributed to negative emotions. We find that a large part (around 70%) of the punishment behavior observed in previous PTTG studies is explained by the technology of punishment adopted instead of negative emotions. Once this effect is removed, negative emotions do still play an important role, but the efficiency costs associated to them are much smaller.
    Keywords: Emotions, punishment, power-to-take, experiment
    JEL: A12 C72 C91
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Novarese, Marco; Di Giovinazzo, Viviana
    Abstract: In this paper we use data generated within an electronic learning environment to explore the relationship between procrastination and academic performance. Our findings suggest that while procrastinators do obtain lower marks, they show the same cognitive capabilities and the same level of confidence in their knowledge as non-procrastinating students. The results also show that students are, at least in part, aware of their tendency to delay, when they choose to postpone their task, but that delayed deadlines do not improve performance. The tendency to procrastinate is more likely a behavioural tendency than a rational choice reflecting a study strategy.
    Keywords: procrastination; academic performance; cognitive capabilities; self-confidence
    JEL: A2 B4 D03
    Date: 2015–04
  5. By: Strzalecki, Tomasz
    Abstract: As demonstrated by the email game of Rubinstein (1989), the predictions of the standard equilibrium models of game theory are sensitive to assumptions about the fine details of the higher order beliefs. This paper shows that models of bounded depth of reasoning based on level-k thinking or cognitive hierarchy make predictions that are independent of the tail assumptions on the higher order beliefs. The framework developed here provides a language that makes it possible to identify general conditions on depth of reasoning, instead of committing to a particular model such as level-k thinking or cognitive hierarchy.
    Date: 2014

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