nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2015‒05‒30
eleven papers chosen by

  1. Stress Reactions cannot explain the Gender Gap in Willingness to compete By Thomas Buser; Anna Dreber; Johanna Mollerstrom
  2. How stressful are economic competitions in the lab? An investigation with physiological measures By Buckert, Magdalena; Schwieren, Christiane; Kudielka, Brigitte M.; Fiebach , Christian J.
  6. A tale of paradigm clash: Simon, situated cognition and the interpretation of bounded rationality By Petracca, Enrico
  9. Examining elementary school children’s extracurricular activity participation and their non-cognitive development using longitudinal data in Japan By MATSUOKA Ryoji; NAKAMURO Makiko; INUI Tomohiko
  10. Does early centre-based care have an impact on child cognitive and socio-emotional development? Evidence from Chile By Marigen Narea
  11. Reducing Crime and Violence: Experimental Evidence on Adult Noncognitive Investments in Liberia By Christopher Blattman; Julian C. Jamison; Margaret Sheridan

  1. By: Thomas Buser (University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands); Anna Dreber (Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden); Johanna Mollerstrom (George Mason University, United States)
    Abstract: Women are often less willing than men to compete, even in tasks where there is no gender gap in performance. Also, many people experience competitive contexts as stressful and previous research has documented that men and women sometimes react differently to acute stressors. We use two laboratory experiments to investigate whether factors related to stress can help explain the gender gap in competitiveness. Experiment 1 studies whether stress responses (measured with salivary cortisol and through self-assessment) to taking part in a mandatory competition predict individual willingness to participate in a voluntary competition. We find that while the mandatory competition does increase stress levels, there is no gender difference in this reaction. Cortisol response does not predict willingness to compete for men but is positively and significantly correlated with choosing to enter the voluntary competition for women. In Experiment 2 we exogenously induce stress using the cold-pressor task. We find no causal effect of stress on competitiveness for the sample as a whole and only tentative evidence of a positive effect for women. In summary, even though there are some gender differences in the relation between stress responses and the decision to enter a competition or not, these cannot explain the general gender gap in willingness to compete that is generally found in the literature and which we replicate.
    Keywords: gender; competitiveness; stress; cortisol; lab experiment
    JEL: C91 D03 J16 J24 J33
    Date: 2015–05–19
  2. By: Buckert, Magdalena; Schwieren, Christiane; Kudielka, Brigitte M.; Fiebach , Christian J.
    Abstract: Competition is ubiquitous in economic life. Yet, negative consequences of competitive environments have been reported and everyday experience suggests that competitive situations can be very stressful. It is, however, an open question whether or not economic competitions in the laboratory indeed elicit physiological stress reactions. Our study examined the subjectively perceived stress and the physiological changes induced by a well-established economic laboratory competition paradigm (first used in Niederle and Vesterlund 2007) in a mixed-gender sample of 105 healthy participants. A mental arithmetic task was performed first under a piece rate (i.e., non-competitive) payment scheme and afterwards under a tournament condition. In a third round, participants decided how to be paid (i.e., piece rate or tournament). Our results indicate that compared to a control group, which performed only the non-competitive condition, the competitive game condition indeed elicited subjective and physiological reactions that are indicative of mild stress. Furthermore, reactions that are thought to reflect an active coping style were related to the self-selection into competition in the third round of the game. We speculate that real-life economic competitions might be even stronger stressors and the way how people cope with this kind of stress might be related to competitiveness in real-life economic contexts.
    Keywords: competition; decision making; stress; heart rate; testosterone; economic tournament
    Date: 2015–05–15
  3. By: Ashwini H. R.; Sony Kumari
    Abstract: The Effectiveness of One Month Residential Yoga Program on Measuring the Positive and Negative Attitude among 50 participants was examined. The participants were divided into two groups -Yoga and Control group. Yoga Group comprising of both Male and Female attended one month Residential yoga program where they followed a strict schedule of 10 hours per day. Result indicated that Yoga Program contributed significantly in improving positive attitude and reducing in negative attitude in healthy volunteers. Positive thinking can lead to positive attitudes and peace of mind. Much of your behavior depends on your attitudes. If your attitudes are negative, you can expect to be vulnerable to addictions and psychosomatic disorders, and the resulting lack of focus and concentration may degrade every area of your life. A positive attitude can be developed by monitoring and disciplining your thoughts on a moment-by-moment basis. Key words: yoga, attitude, psychology
    Date: 2015–03
  4. By: Suchitra S. Patil; H. R. Nagendra
    Abstract: The study comprised to comprehend the effect of Yoga Personality Development Camp on the trigunas in children. The study was pre-post design with control group . 200 children (100 children in each group), aged 8-12 yrs, selected from a residential camp at Prashanti kutiram Jigani ( Yoga group) and Jayagopal Garodia Rasrtothana school. Experimental group children practiced Integral Yoga module including Asanas, pranayama, nadanusandhana, chanting, and games.Control group children were under daily rutine . Sushruta Child personality inventory was administered before and after 10 days. Mann-Whitney U test and Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test were applied. Sattva increased significantly, while Rajas and Tamas decreased significantly as compared to the control group. Yoga Personality Development camp has the significant effect on Sattva, Rajas and Tamas in Children. Key words: Yoga, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas
    Date: 2014–12
  5. By: G. K. Reddy; Sony Kumari
    Abstract: The effectiveness of short term yoga practice on cognitive function and attitude towards violence in school children (n = 100) was examined. The participants were divided into two groups -Yoga and Control group. Yoga group was given 10 days yoga intervention programme for one hour every day. Results indicated that yoga intervention contributed significant result in cognitive function and no significant result in ATV (attitude towards violence) in school children. Key words: School children, cognitive function, attitude towards violence, yoga
    Date: 2015–03
  6. By: Petracca, Enrico
    Abstract: The intellectual figure of Herbert A. Simon is well known for having introduced the influential notion of bounded rationality in economics. Less known, at least from the economists’ point of view, is the figure of Simon as eminent cognitive psychologist, co-founder of so-called cognitivism, a mainstream approach in cognitive psychology until the 80s of the last century. In fact, the two faces of Simon’s intellectual figure, as rationality scholar and as cognitive scientist, are not factorizable at all: according to Simon himself, cognitivism is bounded rationality and bounded rationality is cognitivism. This paper tries to answer a simple research question: has the notion of bounded rationality fully followed the development of cognitive psychology beyond cognitivism in the post-Simonian era? If not, why? To answer such questions, this paper focuses on a very specific historical episode. In 1993, on the pages of the journal Cognitive Science, Simon (with his colleague Alonso Vera) openly confronted the proponents of a new (paradigmatic) view of cognition called situated cognition, a firm challenger of cognitivism, which was going to inspire cognitive psychology from then on. This paper claims that this tough confrontation, typical of a paradigm shift, might have prevented rationality studies in economics from coming fully in touch with the new paradigm in cognitive psychology. A reconstruction of the differences between cognitivism and situated cognition as they emerged in the confrontation is seen here as fundamental in order to assess and explore this hypothesis.
    Keywords: Herbert A. Simon; bounded rationality; situated cognition theory; economics and cognitive psychology
    JEL: B31 B41 D03 D80
    Date: 2015
  7. By: Anjana Bhattacharjee; Khousbo Chhetri
    Abstract: The study was designed to compare the self-esteem of disabled and non-disabled persons of Tripura. Fifty disabled and fifty non-disabled persons were participated in the study. Self esteem Inventory was used to collect data from the participants. The results showed that disabled person possessed low self esteem (both personally perceived self esteem and socially perceived self esteem) than their normal counterparts. The findings revealed no significant difference among male and female disabled persons and among persons with locomotor and visual disability with regard to their self esteem which further indicated that disability negatively affects self esteem of an individual irrespective of gender and nature of disability. Key words: Disability, personally perceived self esteem, socially perceived self esteem
    Date: 2014–09
  8. By: Nagendra Dwivedi; Rajesh Mehrotra
    Abstract: Purchasing a car can be a normal decision for some, but can be a very special decision for others. Of the many attributes a car signifies, aesthetics is one of the most significant while making a decision. Colour of a car has been rated as a very important attribute as per studies carried by various agencies so far. The objective of the study is to highlight importance of colour in selecting a vehicle and finding a correlation between influence of personality traits of a person and his choice of colour. It has also been seen that the purchase decision is dependent on Aesthetic orientation of a person which is in turn dependent on personality traits. So the study tries to find the dependence of colour on both personality as well as aesthetic orientation. Methodology deployed for the study is surveying 214 people of different backgrounds and questioning them on the basis of a questionnaire, and mapping their behaviour basis the responses and generating a pattern for understanding choice of colour dependent on the personality traits and aesthetic orientation. The study performed first detected the personality traits of a person, and hence aesthetic orientation was defined. It was largely seen that personality traits are very significant in determining the colour preference, but linking it to aesthetic orientation gave results which were better linked to colour choices. The study was carried basis age groups, gender, and MHI. In the study a strong correlation was found and a scale was designed mapping color of car basis the personality traits of a person. Key words: Personality Dimensions, CAD, Aesthetic Orientation, Colour Choice
    Date: 2015–03
  9. By: MATSUOKA Ryoji; NAKAMURO Makiko; INUI Tomohiko
    Abstract: This study attempts to reveal a mechanism of intergenerational transmission of advantages by assessing children’s learning experiences outside school. Using four waves of the Japan’s Longitudinal Survey of Babies in the 21st Century, the study investigates whether (1) children’s participation in extracurricular activities (EAs) varies according to parents’ educational backgrounds (as a proxy for socioeconomic status), (2) their EA participation is related to two aspects of their non-cognitive development, and (3) the EA participation mediates a relation between parents’ educational background and non-cognitive development. This study’s results show that children with college-educated parents tend to participate in three categories of EAs: academics, high culture, and sports. These disparities in EA participation show a significant, albeit modest, association with children’s behavior problems and orientation to school. This Japanese case reveals unequal access to adult-led structured learning opportunities in the private education market and indicates that children who participate in such activities gain positive benefits in terms of the non-cognitive aspects of development that are formally and informally evaluated by schoolteachers.
    Date: 2015–03
  10. By: Marigen Narea
    Abstract: Worldwide, non-maternal child care during the first years of life has gradually become more prevalent. However, there is little evidence for Chile about the benefit of early attendance at centre-based care—especially universal early childhood programs for under-three-year-olds—and child development. This study explores the association between two-year-olds' attendance at day care and child development. Attendance at day care (versus maternal care) between the ages of 24 and 36 months is positively associated with child cognitive development and shows insignificant association with child socio-emotional development. In addition, more daily hours in centre-based care is positively associated with cognitive outcomes, but negatively associated with socio-emotional outcomes. Additionally, the association between attendance at centre-based care and socio-emotional outcomes is more negative for children of lower income households relative to children of higher income households. The analyses use a Chilean panel survey and control for child, maternal, and family characteristics as well as for unobserved individual fixed effects. The results are consistent using both OLS regressions and propensity score matching techniques. Implications for future research and social policies are discussed.
    Keywords: Early childhood, Centre-based care, Child care, Child development
    JEL: J13 J18 I21
    Date: 2014–11
  11. By: Christopher Blattman; Julian C. Jamison; Margaret Sheridan
    Abstract: We show self control and self image are malleable in adults, and that investments in them reduce crime and violence. We recruited criminally-engaged Liberian men and randomized half to eight weeks of group cognitive behavioral therapy, teaching self control skills and a noncriminal self-image. We also randomized $200 grants. Cash raised incomes and reduced crime in the short-run but effects dissipated within a year. Therapy increased self control and noncriminal values, and acts of crime and violence fell 20--50%. Therapy's impacts lasted at least a year when followed by cash, likely because cash reinforced behavioral changes via prolonged practice.
    JEL: D03 J22 K42 O12
    Date: 2015–05

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