nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2021‒02‒22
three papers chosen by

  1. The Influence of Dietary Patterns on Outcomes in a Bayesian Choice Task By David L. Dickinson; Eugenio Caleb Garbuio
  2. Beliefs in Repeated Games By Masaki Aoyagi; Guillaume Frechette; Sevgi Yuksel
  3. Cognitive Impairment and Prevalence of Memory-Related Diagnoses among U.S. Older Adults By Qian, Yuting; Chen, Xi; Tang, Diwen; Kelley, Amy S.; Li, Jing

  1. By: David L. Dickinson; Eugenio Caleb Garbuio
    Abstract: This paper reports on a preregistered study aimed at testing for executive function differences across individuals who self-reported one of four distinct dietary patterns: No Diet, No Sugar, Vegetarian, and Mediterranean Diet patterns. The incentivized decision task involves Bayesian assessments where participants may use existing (base rate) as well as new information (sample draw evidence) in making probability assessments. Sample size, hypotheses, and analysis plans were all determined ex ante and registered on the Open Science Framework. Our hypotheses were aimed at testing whether adherence to a specialty diet improved decision making relative to those who reported following No Diet. Our data fail to support these hypotheses. In fact, we found some evidence that adherence to a No Sugar Diet predicted a reduced decision accuracy and was connected to an increased imbalance in how the participant weighted the two sources of information available. Our results suggest that decision making is nuanced among dietary groups, but that short-term incentivized decisions in an ecologically valid field setting are likely not improved solely by following a promoted diet such as the Mediterranean or Vegetarian diet. Key Words:
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Masaki Aoyagi; Guillaume Frechette; Sevgi Yuksel
    Abstract: This paper uses a laboratory experiment to study beliefs and their relationship to action and strategy choices in finitely and indefinitely repeated prisoners' dilemma games. We find subjects' beliefs about the other player's action are accurate despite some systematic deviations corresponding to early pessimism in the indefinitely repeated game and late optimism in the finitely repeated game. The data reveals a close link between beliefs and actions that differs between the two games. In particular, the same history of play leads to different beliefs, and the same belief leads to different action choices in each game. Moreover, we find beliefs anticipate the evolution of behavior within a supergame, changing in response to the history of play (in both games) and the number of rounds played (in the finitely repeated game). We then use the subjects' beliefs over actions in each round to identify their beliefs over supergame strategies played by the other player. We find these beliefs correctly capture the different classes of strategies used in each game. Importantly, subjects using different strategies have different beliefs, and for the most part, strategies are subjectively rational given beliefs. The results also suggest subjects tend to overestimate the likelihood that others use the same strategy as them, while underestimating the likelihood that others use less cooperative strategies.
    Date: 2021–02
  3. By: Qian, Yuting (Weill Cornell Medical College); Chen, Xi (Yale University); Tang, Diwen (Fudan University, China); Kelley, Amy S. (Icahn School of Medicine); Li, Jing (Weill Cornell Medical College)
    Abstract: Cognitive impairment creates significant challenges to health and well-being of the fast-growing aging population. Early recognition of cognitive impairment may confer important advantages, allowing for diagnosis and appropriate treatment, education, psychosocial support, and improved decision-making regarding life planning, health care, and financial matters. Yet the prevalence of memory-related diagnoses among older adults with early symptoms of cognitive impairment is unknown. Using 2000-2014 Health and Retirement Survey - Medicare linked data, we leveraged within-individual variation in a longitudinal cohort design to examine the relationship between incident cognitive impairment and receipt of diagnosis among American older adults. Receipt of a memory-related diagnosis was determined by ICD-9-CM codes. Incident cognitive impairment was assessed using the modified Telephone Interview of Cognitive Status (TICS). We found overall low prevalence of early memory-related diagnosis, or high rate of underdiagnosis, among older adults showing symptoms of cognitive impairment, especially among non-whites and socioeconomically disadvantaged subgroups. Our findings call for targeted interventions to improve the rate of early diagnosis, especially among vulnerable populations.
    Keywords: cognitive impairment, cognitive aging, dementia, Medicare, memory-related diagnosis
    JEL: I11 I14 J14 I18 R20
    Date: 2021–02

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