Archivio per 6 aprile 2012

06
Apr
12

Is neuroeconomics doomed by the reverse inference fallacy? – Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde

Via Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

euroeconomic studies are liable to fall into the reverse inference fallacy, a form of affirmation of the consequent. More generally neuroeconomics relies on two problematic steps, namely the inference from brain activities to the engagement of cognitive processes in experimental tasks, and the presupposition that such inferred cognitive processes are relevant to economic theorizing. The first step only constitutes the reverse inference fallacy proper and ways to correct it include a better sense of the neural response selectivity of the targeted brain areas and a better definition of relevant cognitive ontologies for neuroeconomics. This second way also allows increased coherence between the cognitive processes actually involved in neuroeconomics experiments and the theoretical constructs of economics. We suggest means of increasing neural response selectivity in neuroeconomic experimental paradigms. We also discuss how the choice of cognitive ontologies can both avoid implicit reductionist strategies (from economic constructs to neural patterns) and irrelevance, as cognitive processes engaged in experimental tasks may lack immediate bearing on the study of economic behavior. With these joint improvements neuroeconomics can be a progressive science

Via www.springerlink.com

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06
Apr
12

The Coevolution of Behavior and Normative Expectations Customary Law in the Lab

Via Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

Customary law has been criticized from very different angles.
Rational choice theorists claim that what looks like custom is nothing but self-interest. Positivists doubt that anything beyond consent assumes the force of law. In this paper, we adopt an experimental approach to test these claims. We show that the willingness to overcome a dilemma transcends self-interest. Cooperation is significantly higher in the presence of a meta-rule for the formation of customary law. Yet only if it is backed
up by sanctions, law is significantly more effective than mere comity.
Customary law guides behaviour into the normatively desired direction as normative expectations and behavioural patterns coevolve.

Via www.coll.mpg.de

06
Apr
12

Image and Misreporting

Via Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

In this paper we ask if reports of private information about skills, abilities or achievements are affected by image concerns. We develop a simple model that illustrates how image utility can lead to misreporting of private information in contexts where truthful reports maximize monetary outcomes. In addition, we test the model’s predictions in a controlled lab experiment. In the experiment, all subjects go through a series of quiz questions and subsequently report a performance measure. We vary if reports are made to an audience or not and find evidence for image effects. In the audience treatment, stated reports are significantly higher than in the private treatment. This suggests that overconfident appearance might be a consequence of social approval seeking. We also find that men state higher self-assessments than women. This gender difference seems to be driven by men responding more strongly to the presence of an audience

Via ftp.iza.org




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