nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2021‒03‒15
five papers chosen by

  1. From emotion to motivation: Researchers will pretend whatever you want to feel your support By Ana Tur-Porcar, Andrés Salas-Vallina, Joaquín M. Azagra-Caro
  2. The Role of Maternal Postpartum Depression on Newborn and Siblings' Behaviour. By Schiavon, Lucia
  3. Can Aromatherapy Improve Cognitive Function in the Healthy Elderly Subjects?—A Randomized Double Blinded Placebo-Controlled Study (Japanese) By SO Mirai; KOSUGI Ryoko; SHINJO Tokiko; ODAGI Yui; KOSHI Misaki; HASHIMOTO Sora; SEKIZAWA Yoichi; SAITO Fumie; KONISHI Mika; MORI Eri; FUNAYAMA Michitaka; TABUCHI Hajime; MIMURA Masaru
  4. Formation of Children’s Cognitive and Socio-Emotional Skills: Is All Parental Time Equal? By Hélène Le Forner
  5. Gender and Psychological Pressure in Competitive Environments By Booth, Alison L.; Nolen, Patrick J.

  1. By: Ana Tur-Porcar, Andrés Salas-Vallina, Joaquín M. Azagra-Caro
    Abstract: Advanced knowledge plays a significant role in contemporary, science-based society as a source of wealth and an engine for economic development (Lehtinen, McMullen, & Gruber, 2019). A person in science (Grosul & Feist, 2014) has cognitive, psychological, motivational, emotional and contextual characteristics that guide the direction of their work (Araújo, Cruz, & Almeida, 2017; Lounsbury et al., 2012; Lubinski, Benbow, Shea, Eftekhari-Sanjani, & Halvorson, 2001). That is why quality scientific research is found among researchers with a particular combination of attributes that are not only cognitive, but also non-cognitive (Lubinski et al., 2001) such as motivation and emotions. The people involved in the work can act based on internal and prosocial reasons, as well as external ones. Indeed, in keeping with the theory of self-determination, people involved in a task have a high level of autonomy if they find the activity itself satisfying (Ryan & Deci, 2000). Also, the theory of self-determination provides a conceptual framework regarding motivation in specific areas such as learning, the business world and sports, which explains changes in behaviour and the level of commitment to the task to achieve the goals set (Ryan, Vansteenkiste, & Soenens, 2019). This theory stresses intrinsic motivation, referring to the desire to make an effort due to the interest and well-being that the activity itself creates. Thanks to this situation of well-being, an optimal state of commitment and autonomy regarding the task is reached (Gagné & Deci, 2005; Ryan & Deci, 2000). Prosocial motivation can also play a part, focussing more on the desire to work for the good of others and to contribute to their well-being (Grant, 2007). Material incentives and extrinsic motivation are absent in both intrinsic and prosocial motivation, and the latter two ending up mutually reinforcing each other (Kroll & Porumbescu, 2019). Research into what fosters scientific quality has analysed aspects such as curiosity (Jindal-Snape & Snape, 2006), creativity (Grosul & Feist, 2014; Tahamtan & Bornmann, 2018), creativity and motivation (Zhu, Gardner, & Chen, 2018), values (Sato, 2016), personality (Lounsbury et al., 2012) and emotional and motivational processes (Araújo et al., 2017; Jindal-Snape & Snape, 2006). Taking into account this theoretical context, this study specifically aims to analyse the role of social support as a mediator between self-knowledge of emotion and motivation in people who work in advanced knowledge. Furthermore, this article aims to contribute to the preceding research with an analysis on the role of social support in the relationship between self-emotional appraisal and motivation. Within emotional processes, the importance of strategies geared towards emotional control and positive internal dialogue has been observed (Araújo et al., 2017), which can be boosted by good self-knowledge of emotions. Within the context of emotional intelligence theory, people with adequate knowledge and management of their own emotions tend to keep up good interpersonal relationships and to seek social support (Bucich & MacCann, 2019) for instrumental or emotional reasons (Goldenberg, Matheson & Mantler, 2006) because the favourable results will have repercussions on an individual and collective level (Portes, 1998). That is why social support networks can provide a source of encouragement and strength to go on working to achieve goals, giving emotional relief and tranquillity in a comfortable environment (Holt-Lunstad & Smith, 2012). Moreover, people cope better with challenges and process information better when they have access to social interlocutors (Bauer, King & Steger, 2019). These principles are consistent with the Social Baseline Theory (Beckes & Coan, 2011) on the benefits to be gained by sharing work to increase the results and reduce the costs of environmental demands. The social context itself can strengthen an individual's ability to overcome adversity. Hence, one specific aim of this research is to analyse the role of social support in the relationship between emotional self-appraisal and motivation.
    Date: 2021–03–05
  2. By: Schiavon, Lucia (University of Turin)
    Abstract: In this paper, we study whether maternal postpartum depression affects children's behaviour, not only of the newborn but also of his older siblings. Moreover, we investigate if the presence of older siblings in household softens the impact of maternal distress on the behaviour of the newborn. Using data from the Millennium Cohort Study (UK data service), we estimate the effect of maternal postpartum depression on five behavioural dimensions derived from the Strengths and Diculties questionnaire, for both newborn and older siblings (when present). Results confirm the association between maternal postpartum depression and behavioural problems. Conversely no significant difference emerged between newborn and older siblings, we found no evidence of a role of older siblings in mitigating the negative consequences of maternal postpartum depression on newborn non-cognitive development. Our findings are robust to different specification of behavioural problems. Overall, our results suggest that newborn and older siblings are similarly exposed to the negative consequences of maternal distress.
    Date: 2021–02
  3. By: SO Mirai; KOSUGI Ryoko; SHINJO Tokiko; ODAGI Yui; KOSHI Misaki; HASHIMOTO Sora; SEKIZAWA Yoichi; SAITO Fumie; KONISHI Mika; MORI Eri; FUNAYAMA Michitaka; TABUCHI Hajime; MIMURA Masaru
    Abstract: Background: Dementia places a severe and far-reaching burden on patients themselves and on their family members and communities. In dementia, olfactory function is known as likely to be antecedently impaired prior to memory. There is a hypothesis that effective stimulation of the olfactory nerve, as with aroma therapy, can improve cognitive function, but there was no evidence of this prior to this study among the elderly including dementia patients. We investigated whether the inhalation of natural fragrances ameliorates cognitive function among healthy elderly volunteers. Methods: The design was a randomized double blinded placebo-controlled trial. Participants were randomly allocated either to the aroma (essential oil) or the placebo (ethanol) groups. Participants prepared a fragrance patch and attached it to their clothing twice daily, for a minimum 2 hours. The primary outcome was PASAT, and participants were evaluated twice, at the baseline and the completion of interventions in Week 12, and the changes from baseline to Week12 were compared between groups using mixed-effects models for repeated measures. Results: A total of 119 were randomly assigned either to the aroma (n=60) or the placebo (n=59) groups. The mean age was 69.5 years and male rate was 49.6%. A total of more than 96% of participants achieved more than 80% of adherences. In PASAT-2, mean changes under 2-second condition from baseline were + 5.80 [95% CI; 3.76 to 7.84] in the aroma and +2.48 [95% CI; 0.48 to 4.47] in the placebo groups. The mean difference was 3.37 [95% CI; 0.47 to 6.17: P=0.0229] with the effect size of 0.44 (Hedges' g). No significant differences were observed in PASAT-1, RAVLT, SDMT or MMSE, while the placebo group was superior in well-being and olfactory function. Conclusions: Three months aroma therapy significantly improved "Attention" as assessed by PASAT-2 compared with the placebo. However, no significant differences were observed in other cognitive functions or psychological measures. "Attention" has been recognized as more important to maintain the independent life of the elderly than other cognitive functions including memory. Further research is considered to be required.
    Date: 2021–02
  4. By: Hélène Le Forner (Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, EHESS, Ecole Centrale, AMSE, Marseille, France.)
    Abstract: Although it is recognized that parental time is a strong determinant of child development, little is known about heterogeneity across the effects of parental time. Using the Longitudinal Survey of Australian Children, I model the cognitive and socio-emotional skills production functions for children born in 1999-2000, from 4 to 11 years old, using, among others, a cumulative value-added and a generalized method of moments model. I find that the effect on children's verbal and socioemotional skills of time spent on educational activities with the father is smaller than that with the mother or both parents together. For socio-emotional skills, this difference seems to be driven by fathers who spend little time with their children.
    Keywords: child development; cognitive skills; socio-emotional skills; parental time investment
    JEL: I24 J13 J24
    Date: 2021–03
  5. By: Booth, Alison L. (Australian National University); Nolen, Patrick J. (University of Essex)
    Abstract: Gender differences in paid performance under competition have been found in many laboratory-based experiments, and it has been suggested that these may arise because men and women respond differently to psychological pressure in competitive environments. To explore this further, we conducted a laboratory experiment comprising 444 subjects, and measured gender differences in performance in four distinct competitive situations. These were as follows: (i) the standard tournament game where the subject competes with three other individuals and the winner takes all; (ii) an anonymized competition in which an individual competes against an imposed production target and is paid only if s/he exceeds it; (iii) a 'personified' competition where an individual competes against a target based on the previous performance of one anonymised person of unknown gender; and (iv) a 'gendered' competition where an individual competes against a target based on the previous performance of one anonymised person whose gender is known. We found that only men respond to pressure differently in each situation; women responded the same to pressure no matter the situation. Moreover, the personified target caused men to increase performance more than under an anonymized target and, when the gender of the person associated with the target was revealed, men worked even harder to outperform a woman but strived only to equal the target set by a male.
    Keywords: psychological pressure, tournament, piece rate, gender, competitive behaviour, experiment
    JEL: C91 C92 J16 J33 M52
    Date: 2021–03

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