nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2016‒06‒04
three papers chosen by

  1. Does Exposure to Unawareness Affect Risk Preferences? A Preliminary Result By Wenjun Ma; Burkhard Schipper
  2. Dynamic encoding of perception, memory and movement in a C. elegans chemotaxis circuit By Linjiao Luo; Quan Wen; Jing Ren; Hendricks,Michael; Marc Gershow; Qin,Yuqi; Joel Greenwood; Edward Soucy; Mason Klein; Heidi Smith-Parker; Ana Calvo; Daniel Colon-Ramos; Samuel,Aravinthan; Zhang,Yun
  3. Product Bundling as a Behavioral Nudge: Investigating Consumer Fruit and Vegetable Selection using Dual-Self Theory By Carroll, Kathryn A.; Samek, Anya Savikhin; Zepeda, Lydia

  1. By: Wenjun Ma; Burkhard Schipper (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)
    Abstract: One fundamental assumption often made in the literature on unawareness is that risk preferences are invariant to changes of awareness. We study how exposure to unawareness a ects choices under risk. Participants in our experiment choose repeatedly between varying sure outcomes and a lottery in 3 phases. All treatments are exactly identical in phase 1 and phase 3, but di er in phase 2. There are ve di erent treatments pertaining to the lottery faced in phase 2: The control treatment (i.e., a standard lottery), the treatment with awareness of unawareness of lottery outcomes but known number of outcomes, the treatment with awareness of unawareness of outcomes but with unknown number of outcomes, the treatment with unawareness of unawareness of some outcomes, and the treatment with an ambiguous lottery. We study both whether behavior di ers in phase 3 across treatments (between subjects e ect) and whether di erences of subjects' behavior between phases 1 and phase 3 di ers across treatments (within subject e ects). We observe no signi cant treatment e ects.
    Keywords: Unawareness, Awareness of unawareness, Risk aversion, Experiments.
    JEL: C91 C92 D81 D87
    Date: 2016–05–25
  2. By: Linjiao Luo; Quan Wen; Jing Ren; Hendricks,Michael; Marc Gershow; Qin,Yuqi; Joel Greenwood; Edward Soucy; Mason Klein; Heidi Smith-Parker; Ana Calvo; Daniel Colon-Ramos; Samuel,Aravinthan; Zhang,Yun
    Abstract: Brain circuits endow behavioral flexibility. Here, we study circuits encoding flexible 26 chemotaxis in C. elegans, where the animal navigates up or down NaCl gradients (positive or negative chemotaxis) to reach the salt concentration of previous growth (the setpoint). The ASER sensory neuron mediates positive and negative chemotaxis by regulating the frequency and direction of reorientation movements in response to salt gradients. Both salt gradients and setpoint memory are encoded in ASER temporal activity patterns. Distinct temporal activity patterns in interneurons immediately downstream of ASER encode chemotactic movement decisions. Different interneuron combinations regulate positive vs. negative chemotaxis. We conclude that sensorimotor pathways are segregated immediately after the primary sensory neuron in the chemotaxis circuit, and sensory representation is rapidly transformed to motor representation at the first interneuron layer. Our study reveals compact encoding of perception, memory, and locomotion in an experience dependent navigational behavior in C. elegans.
  3. By: Carroll, Kathryn A.; Samek, Anya Savikhin; Zepeda, Lydia
    Abstract: The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that at least 68% of U.S. adults aged 20 and older are overweight with BMIs of 25+. A major component of this problem is the decision to habitually consume high quantities of low-nutrient, high-calorie foods (NIH, 2012). This study uses an artefactual field experiment on food choice, conducted in a large Midwestern U.S. city during fall 2015, to explore whether product bundles (consisting of primarily fruit & vegetable (F&V) items) can serve as a behavioral intervention to increase F&V selection. Also of interest was determining whether shopping under cognitive load influenced both item and bundle selection using a dual-self framework, and whether bundles need offer a price discount. Study participants shopped a grocery display under one of six different treatments, with differences examined among the proportion of items selected from three categories: Fruit and Vegetables, Junk Food/Snacks, and Protein/Dairy/Grains. The proportions of items selected by category were also analyzed using a fractional multinomial regression model. Results uncover that product bundles need not offer a price discount in order to effectively increase F&V selection. In fact, discounted bundles were counterproductive at increasing F&Vs when shoppers were under high cognitive load. Product bundles may be preferred by consumers as a means through which to lessen the cognitive strain of the shopping process, and could serve as a potential behavioral intervention to increase retail F&V sales.
    Keywords: food choice, fruit and vegetable selection, product bundling, cognitive load, artefactual field experiment, dual-self theory, Consumer/Household Economics, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Health Economics and Policy, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Marketing, C91, D12, I12, Q13,
    Date: 2016–05

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