nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2022‒08‒22
five papers chosen by

  1. Political Ideology, Mood Response, and the Confirmation Bias By Dickinson, David L.
  2. The Impact of Centre-Based Childcare on Non-cognitive Skills of Young Children By Morando, Greta; Platt, Lucinda
  3. How is adolescents' time allocation associated with their self-esteem and self-efficacy? Evidence from four developing countries By Chang, Grace
  4. Measuring dietary diversity: evaluating a novel cell phone method to extend the reference period without increasing the cognitive burden on respondents in Ethiopia. By Assefa, Thomas W.; McCullough, Ellen; McGavock, Tamara
  5. Alcohol and Mild Cognitive Impairment: Evidence from A Mendelian Randomization Analysis in Rural China By Cui, Yi; Zhang, Ying; Zhao, Qiran; SI, Wei

  1. By: Dickinson, David L. (Appalachian State University)
    Abstract: The confirmation bias is a well-known form of motivated reasoning that serves to protect an individual from cognitive discomfort. Hearing rival viewpoints or belief-opposing information creates cognitive dissonance, and so avoiding exposure to, or discounting the validity of, dissonant information are rational strategies that may help avoid or mitigate negative emotion. Because there is often systematic thought involved in generating the confirmation bias, deliberation tends to promote this behavioral bias. Nevertheless, the importance of negative emotion in triggering the need for this bias is underappreciated. This paper addresses a gap in the literature by examining mood and the confirmation bias in the political domain. Using results from two studies and three distinct decision tasks, we present data on over 1100 participants documenting the confirmation bias in different settings. All methods (recruitment and sample size, hypotheses, variables, analysis plans, etc.) were preregistered on the Open Science Framework. Our data show evidence of a confirmation bias across distinct dimensions of belief and preference formation. As hypothesized, the data show a strong increase in self-reported negative mood states after viewing political statements or information that are dissonant with one's political ideology. Finally, while not as robust across tasks, we report evidence that supports our hypothesis that negative mood will moderate the strength of the confirmation bias. Together, these results highlight the importance of mood response in understanding the confirmation bias, which helps further our understanding of how this bias may be particularly difficult to combat.
    Keywords: confirmation bias, sleep, deliberation, cognitive reflection, motivated reasoning
    JEL: C91 D91 D89
    Date: 2022–07
  2. By: Morando, Greta (University College London); Platt, Lucinda (LSE)
    Abstract: The early development of non-cognitive skills has longlasting benefits for children's sub- sequent educational attainment and wages. Drawing on a rich, nationally representative longitudinal sample of young children in Ireland, we present new evidence on whether the use of centre-based childcare (CBC) in infancy and early years promotes non-cognitive skills by school entry. We focus on the type of non-parental childcare used by mothers who are working when their child is nine months, comparing CBC with other form of non-parental care. We consider the impact of childcare type on three domains of socio-emotional skills: externalising, internalising and pro-social behaviours. We find negative effects of CBC on both externalising and pro-social behaviours across most specifications. With a cumulative value added model we estimate that centre-based childcare at age three worsens externalising behaviour at age five by 0.11 standard deviations compared to other forms of non-parental care. This is equivalent to 44% of the difference in externalising behaviour between children with a mother with/out tertiary education. The effect of CBC on the externalising dimension of socio-emotional skills of children entering school is consistent across several specifications and robustness checks. Given planned expansion of CBC for those needing subsidised provision, we conclude that such measures could exacerbate socio-emotional inequalities.
    Keywords: centre-based childcare, child socio-emotional development, non-cognitive skills, growing up in Ireland
    JEL: J13 J24 I21 I24
    Date: 2022–07
  3. By: Chang, Grace
    Abstract: Adolescents’ time allocation is an important determinant of non-cognitive skills formation, but evidence from developing countries is limited. This study builds upon two previous studies using data from four developing countries. I estimate how adolescents’ time allocation determines their self-esteem and self-efficacy – two measures of non-cognitive skills – and I show how these estimates are sensitive to trade-offs across different types of activities. In every country, an additional hour of domestic work that reduces time for school or study reduces children’s self-efficacy, significant for all countries except Peru. Work is most harmful for girls in India and Vietnam, but not for boys in Ethiopia. However, domestic or economic work that shifts time away from leisure is no more or less determinative of adolescents’ self-efficacy or self-esteem in all countries analyzed. Attending school and studying outside school improve both selfefficacy and self-esteem for adolescents in Peru, but are statistically insignificant in the other three countries. Overall, these findings are mainly relevant for selfefficacy compared to self-esteem. The harmful effects of adolescents’ work are contextual, depending on the activity substituted, and the country studied.
    Keywords: child labor; non-cognitive skills; time use; PhD Studentship Award; T&F deal
    JEL: J13 J22 J24
    Date: 2022–05–24
  4. By: Assefa, Thomas W.; McCullough, Ellen; McGavock, Tamara
    Keywords: Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Research Methods/Statistical Methods
    Date: 2022–08
  5. By: Cui, Yi; Zhang, Ying; Zhao, Qiran; SI, Wei
    Keywords: Health Economics and Policy, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Agribusiness
    Date: 2022–08

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