nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2015‒09‒05
five papers chosen by

  1. Charitable Behaviour and the Big Five Personality Traits: Evidence from UK Panel Data By Brown, Sarah; Taylor, Karl
  2. IQ and the wellbeing of nations By Salahodjaev, Raufhon
  3. Conflicted Emotions Following Trust-based Interaction By Schniter, Eric; Sheremeta, Roman; Shields, Timothy
  4. Intelligence and gender (in)equality: empirical evidence from developing countries By Salahodjaev, Raufhon; Azam, Sardor
  5. Explaining Attitudes from Behavior: A Cognitive Dissonance Approach By Acharya, Avidit; Blackwell, Matthew; Sen, Maya

  1. By: Brown, Sarah (University of Sheffield); Taylor, Karl (University of Sheffield)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the association between personality traits and charitable behaviour, namely donations of time and money, using data from Understanding Society, the most recent large scale UK household longitudinal survey. Due to the censored nature of the outcome variables, i.e. some individuals do not engage in charitable behaviour, we employ censored quantile regression models. Personality traits are classified according to the 'Big Five' taxonomy: openness to experience; conscientiousness; extraversion; agreeableness; and neuroticism. The quantile approach allows us to explore the effect of personality traits across the entire distribution of charitable behaviour rather than just at the mean, which has generally been the case in the existing literature. In general, after conditioning on an extensive set of controls, conscientiousness and neuroticism are found to be inversely related to donating time and money, whilst openness to experience, which has a positive effect, is the dominant trait in terms of magnitude. Interestingly, personality traits are found to have a stronger association with donations of time and money at the extreme points of the distribution of donations relative to that at the median, thereby highlighting the additional information revealed by quantile approach.
    Keywords: censored quantile regression, charitable donations, personality traits, volunteering
    JEL: C24 D03 H41 N3
    Date: 2015–08
  2. By: Salahodjaev, Raufhon
    Abstract: Given the increasing evidence between intelligence and socio-economic outcomes, investigating its effect on wellbeing is crucial. This paper aims to explore the influence of intelligence on individual life satisfaction using data from World Values Survey (WVS). We find evidence that higher-IQ nations are associated with higher levels of individual life satisfaction. In particular, the positive effect of intelligence is stronger in less developed nations. These findings suggest that investing in cognitive skills is socially advantageous.
    Keywords: wellbeing; life satisfaction; intelligence; IQ; cross-country.
    JEL: I3
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Schniter, Eric; Sheremeta, Roman; Shields, Timothy
    Abstract: We observed reports of conflicted (concurrent positive and negative) emotions activated after interactions in the Trust game. Our analyses reveal that activation of 20 emotional states following trust-based interaction is better explained by predictions derived from a multi-dimensional Recalibrational perspective than by predictions derived from two-dimensional Valence and Arousal perspectives. The Recalibrational perspective proposes that emotions are activated according to their functional features – for example, emotions help people achieve short or long-sighted goals by up or down-regulating behavioral propensities, whereas Valence and Arousal perspectives consider simpler hedonic dimensions lacking functional specificity. The Recalibrational perspective is also distinguished from the Valence and Arousal perspectives in that it predicts the possibility of conflicted emotions. We discuss the theoretical implications of having conflicted goals and the economic implications of having conflicted emotions.
    Keywords: emotion, affect valence, Recalibrational theory, intrapsychic conflict, Trust game
    JEL: C73 C91 D87
    Date: 2015–08–17
  4. By: Salahodjaev, Raufhon; Azam, Sardor
    Abstract: This paper makes an attempt to explore whether intelligence of nations is related to gender inequality, measured by Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI), in developing countries. Related literature robustly links intelligence to economic development, poverty, quality of institutions and informal economic activity. Controlling for conventional antecedents of gender inequality (i.e. religion, political regime, legal origins and trade openness), this paper finds that, on average, a 10-point increase in national IQ scores in the developing world is associated with an 8.2 point reduction in SIGI, ceteris paribus. To test the robustness of our findings we apply instrumental variables (IV) and robust regression methods. We also test whether our results are sensitive to the choice of control variables and heterogeneity of nations in our sample. The negative association of intelligence with gender inequality remains statistically significant and intact in all cases.
    Keywords: intelligence; IQ; gender equality; cross-country; SIGI; developing countries
    JEL: F0 J7
    Date: 2015–08–24
  5. By: Acharya, Avidit (Stanford University); Blackwell, Matthew (Harvard University); Sen, Maya (Harvard University)
    Abstract: The standard approach in positive political theory posits that action choices are the consequences of attitudes. Could it be, however, that an individual's actions also affect her fundamental preferences? We present a broad theoretical framework that captures the simple, yet powerful, intuition that actions frequently alter attitudes as individuals seek to minimize cognitive dissonance. This framework is particularly appropriate for the study of political attitudes and enables political scientists to formally address questions that have remained inadequately answered by conventional rational choice approaches--questions such as "What are the origins of partisanship?" and "What drives ethnic and racial hatred?" We illustrate our ideas with three examples from the literature: (1) how partisanship emerges naturally in a two party system despite policy being multidimensional, (2) how ethnic or racial hostility increases after acts of violence, and (3) how interactions with people who express different views can lead to empathetic changes in political positions.
    Date: 2015–06

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