nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2018‒12‒03
two papers chosen by
Daniel Houser
George Mason University

  1. Metacognitive ability predicts learning cue-stimulus associations in the absence of external feedback By Marine Hainguerlot; Jean-Christophe Vergnaud; Vincent De Gardelle
  2. If I Don’t Trust Your Preferences, I Won’t Follow Mine: Preference Stability, Beliefs, and Strategic Choice By Irenaeus Wolff

  1. By: Marine Hainguerlot (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Jean-Christophe Vergnaud (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Vincent De Gardelle (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: Learning how certain cues in our environment predict specific states of nature is an essential ability for survival. However learning typically requires external feedback, which is not always available in everyday life. One potential substitute for external feedback could be to use the confidence we have in our decisions. Under this hypothesis, if no external feedback is available, then the agents' ability to learn about predictive cues should increase with the quality of their confidence judgments (i.e. metacognitive efficiency). We tested and confirmed this novel prediction in an experimental study using a perceptual decision task. We evaluated in separate sessions the metacognitive abilities of participants (N = 65) and their abilities to learn about predictive cues. As predicted, participants with greater metacognitive abilities learned more about the cues. Knowledge of the cues improved accuracy in the perceptual task. Our results provide strong evidence that confidence plays an active role in improving learning and performance.
    Date: 2018–12
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hal:cesptp:hal-01761531&r=neu
  2. By: Irenaeus Wolff
    Abstract: In contrast to standard theory, experimental participants often do not best-respond to their stated beliefs. Potential reasons are inaccurate belief reports or unstable preferences. Focusing on games in which participants can observe the revealed preferences of their opponents, this paper points out an additional reason for the lack of belief-action consistency. Whether a participant’s best-response—or a Nash-equilibrium—predicts her behaviour depends heavily on the participant believing in others’ preference stability. Believing in others’ preference stability fosters predictability because it is associated with a lower variance in the participant’s belief about her opponents’ actions, and low-variance beliefs entail more best-responding.
    Keywords: Preference stability, best-response, Nash-equilibrium, rational beliefs, public good, social dilemma, conditional cooperation, social preferences.
    Date: 2018
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:twi:respas:0113&r=neu

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