nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2015‒12‒12
four papers chosen by

  1. Neural Mechanisms of the Postdecisional Spreading-of-Alternatives Effect: Eeg Study By Marco Colosio; Anna Shestakova; Vadim Nikulin; Anna Shpektor; Vasily Klucharev
  2. What Kind of Self-Awareness Follows Growth: Facets of Reflection at Different Levels of Ego Development By Vasily Kostenko
  3. Can Early Intervention Improve Maternal Well-being? Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial By Orla Doyle; Liam Delaney; Christine O'Farrelly; Nick Fitzpatrick; Michael Daly
  4. Higher Intelligence Groups Have Higher Cooperation Rates in the Repeated Prisoner's Dilemma By Proto, Eugenio; Rustichini, Aldo; Sofianos, Andis

  1. By: Marco Colosio (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Anna Shestakova (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Vadim Nikulin (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Anna Shpektor (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Vasily Klucharev (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: Cognitive dissonance theory suggests that our preferences are modulated by the mere act of choosing. According to the cognitive dissonance theory, a choice between two similarly valued alternatives creates a psychological tension (cognitive dissonance) that is reduced by a post-decisional re-evaluation of the alternatives – the post-decisional spreading-of-alternatives effect – the chosen item being later evaluated more positively and the rejected item more negatively. Previous neuroimaging studies indicated a central role of the medial prefrontal cortex in cognitive dissonance. In this work, we used electroencephalography to investigate a similarity of neural mechanisms underlying postdecisional preference change and general performance monitoring mechanisms. Our study demonstrates that decisions, associated with stronger cognitive dissonance, trigger a stronger negative fronto-central evoked response similar to the error-related negativity (ERN). Furthermore, the amplitude of ERN correlated with the post-decisional spreading-of-alternatives effect. ERN has been previously associated with incorrect responses and a general performance monitoring mechanism. Thus, our results suggest that cognitive dissonance can be reflected in the activity of the medial prefrontal cortex as a part of the general performance-monitoring circuitry
    Keywords: cognitive dissonance, ERN, brain, spread of alternatives, Eriksen Flanker task
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2015
  2. By: Vasily Kostenko (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: A theory of ego development (ED), established by Jane Loevinger (1966), remains one of the strongest theoretical approaches to exploration of personality development. The ego development process seems to be somehow determined by the more particular mechanisms. The author and her followers often marked the self-awareness, or reflection, as one of such mechanisms that advances a person through the stages. At the same time, the general perspective of the links between the ego level and the basic personality characteristics is still less than clear. The below research is aimed to clarify how different types of reflection, basic personality dimensions and satisfaction with life indicators proceed and interact at the different stages of the personality evolution process. A sample of 259 adolescents and youths, participants of a summer school in Russia, aged from 14 to 25, answered on the Washington University Sentence Completion Test, the Differential Test of Reflection, the Big Five Questionnaire, and Satisfaction with Life scale. The positive and negative facets of reflection behaved ambiguously through the different stages of ED. There was an ascending linear dependence between the productive (Systemic) type of reflection and the ED level. At the same time, non-productive types of reflection (Quasi-Reflection and Introspection), although they were positively associated with Neuroticism and negatively linked to Satisfaction with Life, had no significant connections with the Ego Development level
    Keywords: ego development, personality maturity, personality reflection, self-awareness
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Orla Doyle (University College Dublin); Liam Delaney (Behavioural Science Centre, Stirling Management School, Stirling University); Christine O'Farrelly (Centre for Mental Health, Imperial College London); Nick Fitzpatrick (UCD Geary Institute for Public Policy, University College Dublin); Michael Daly (Behavioural Science Centre, Stirling Management School, Stirling University)
    Abstract: This study estimates the effect of a targeted policy intervention on global and experienced measures of maternal well-being. Participants from a disadvantaged community are randomly assigned during pregnancy to an intensive home visiting parenting program or a control group. The intervention has no impact on global well-being as measured by life satisfaction and parenting stress or experienced negative affect using episodic reports derived from the Day Reconstruction Method (DRM). Treatment effects are observed on measures of experienced positive affect from the DRM and a measure of mood yesterday. This suggests that early intervention may produce some improvements in experienced well-being.
    Keywords: well-being, randomized controlled trial, early intervention
    JEL: C12 C93 I39 J13 I00
    Date: 2015–12
  4. By: Proto, Eugenio (Department of Economics, University of Warwick); Rustichini, Aldo (Department of Economics, University of Minnesota); Sofianos, Andis (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)
    Abstract: Intelligence affects the social outcomes of groups. A systematic study of the link is provided in an experiment where two groups of subjects with different levels of intelligence, but otherwise similar, play a repeated prisoner's dilemma. Initial cooperation rates are similar, but increase in the groups with higher intelligence to reach almost full cooperation, while they decline in the groups with lower intelligence. Cooperation of higher intelligence subjects is payo sensitive and not automatic: in a treatment with lower continuation probability there is no difference between different intelligence groups.
    Keywords: Repeated Prisoner's Dilemma, Cooperation, Intelligence JEL Classification: C73, C91, C92, B83
    Date: 2015

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