nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2022‒06‒13
six papers chosen by

  1. The Emotional and Cognitive Scale of the Human-Nature Relationship (ECS-HNR) By Mundaca, Enrique A.; Lazzaro-Salazar, Mariana; Pujol-Cols, Lucas J.; Muñoz-Quezada, María Teresa
  2. Comparing the Reliability and Predictive Power of Child, Teacher, and Guardian Reports of Noncognitive Skills By Shuaizhang Feng; Yujie Han; James J. Heckman; Tim Kautz
  3. Do Losses Trigger Deliberative Reasoning? By Carpenter, Jeffrey P.; Munro, David
  4. Does Schooling Improve Cognitive Abilities at Older Ages: Causal Evidence from Nonparametric Bounds By Vikesh Amin; Jere R. Behrman; Jason M. Fletcher; Carlos A. Flores; Alfonso Flores-Lagunes; Hans-Peter Kohler
  5. Peers Affect Personality Development By Xiaoque Shan; Ulf Zölitz
  6. Measuring Knowledge By James J. Heckman; Jin Zhou

  1. By: Mundaca, Enrique A.; Lazzaro-Salazar, Mariana; Pujol-Cols, Lucas J.; Muñoz-Quezada, María Teresa
    Abstract: Spanish version of the Emotional and Cognitive Scale of the Human-Nature Relationship (ECS-HNR) - validated version.
    Keywords: Vinculación Hombre-Naturaleza;
    Date: 2021–03–31
  2. By: Shuaizhang Feng; Yujie Han; James J. Heckman; Tim Kautz
    Abstract: Recent evidence has shown that noncognitive or socioemotional skills (e.g., persistence and self-control) are predictive of success in life and can be shaped through interventions.
    Keywords: noncognitive skills, child, teacher, reliability, predictive power, education
  3. By: Carpenter, Jeffrey P. (Middlebury College); Munro, David (Middlebury College)
    Abstract: There is a large literature evaluating the dual process model of cognition, including the biases and heuristic it implies. To advance this literature, we focus on what triggers decision makers to switch from the intuitive process (aka System 1) to the more deliberative process (aka System 2). Based on previous studies indicating that potential losses increase cognitive effort, we posit that losses may also differentially trigger System 2 reasoning. To evaluate this hypothesis, we design an experiment based on a task that has been developed to distinguish between System 1 and System 2 thinking – the cognitive reflection task. Replicating previous research, we find that losses elicit more effort (measured by the time spent on the task and the incidence of correct answers). However, we also find that losses differentially reduce the incidence of intuitive answers, consistent with triggering System 2. To complement these results, we provide tests of the robustness of our results using aggregated data, subgroup analysis and the imposition of a cognitive load to hinder the activation of System 2.
    Keywords: dual process theory, cognitive effort, loss, experiment
    JEL: C9 D9
    Date: 2022–05
  4. By: Vikesh Amin (Central Michigan University); Jere R. Behrman (University of Pennsylvania); Jason M. Fletcher (University of Wisconsin-Madison, NBER, and IZA); Carlos A. Flores (California Polytechnic State University); Alfonso Flores-Lagunes (Syracuse University, IZA, and GLO); Hans-Peter Kohler (University of Pennsylvania)
    Abstract: We revisit the much-investigated relationship between schooling and health, focusing on cognitive abilities at older ages using the Harmonized Cognition Assessment Protocol in the Health & Retirement Study. To address endogeneity concerns, we employ a nonparametric partial identification approach that provides bounds on the population average treatment effect using a monotone instrumental variable together with relatively weak monotonicity assumptions on treatment selection and response. The bounds indicate potentially large effects of increasing schooling from primary to secondary but are also consistent with small and null effects. We find evidence for a causal effect of increasing schooling from secondary to tertiary on cognition. We also replicate findings from the Health & Retirement Study using another sample of older adults from the Midlife in United States Development Study Cognition Project.
    Keywords: Schooling, Cognition, Bounds, Aging, Partial Identification
    JEL: I10 I26 J14
    Date: 2022–05–20
  5. By: Xiaoque Shan; Ulf Zölitz
    Abstract: Do the people around us influence our personality? To answer this question, we conduct an experiment with 543 university students who we randomly assign to study groups. Our results show that students become more similar to their peers along several dimensions. Students with more competitive peers become more competitive, students with more open-minded peers become more open-minded, and students with more conscientious peers become more conscientious. We see no significant effects of peers’ extraversion, agreeableness, or neuroticism. To explain these results, we propose a simple model of personality development under the influence of peers. Consistent with the model’s prediction, personality spillovers are concentrated in traits predictive of performance. Students adopt personality traits that are productive in the university context from their peers. Our findings highlight that socialization with peers can influence personality development.
    Keywords: personality, malleability, peer effects, experiment
    JEL: I21 I24 J24
    Date: 2022
  6. By: James J. Heckman; Jin Zhou
    Abstract: Empirical studies in the economics of education, the measurement of skill gaps across demographic groups, and the impacts of interventions on skill formation rely on psychometrically validated test scores that record the proportion of items correctly answered. Test scores are sometimes taken as measures of an invariant scale of human capital that can be compared over time and people. We show that for a prototypical test, invariance is violated. We use an unusually rich data set from an early childhood intervention program that measures knowledge of narrowly defined skills on essentially equivalent subsets of tasks. We examine if conventional, broadly-defined measures of skill are the same across people who are comparable on detailed knowledge measures. We reject the hypothesis of aggregate scale invariance and call into question the uncritical use of test scores in research on education and on skill formation. We compare different measures of skill and ability and reject the hypothesis of valid aggregate measures of skill.
    JEL: C81 I21 J71
    Date: 2022–04

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