Neuroeconomics of social decisions

Loading...
Thumbnail Image

Persistent link to this item

Statistics
View Statistics

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Title

Neuroeconomics of social decisions

Published Date

2008-12

Publisher

Type

Thesis or Dissertation

Abstract

This dissertation is about how social comparisons leading to envy and pride impact decisions. We, humans, may feel envious and proud for different reasons. One view is that comparing our performance with others' can give us a useful signal about our productivity and skill, and then envy and pride just help us to learn from such experience. The other plausible view is that envy and pride may reflect changes in social status, where dominance in social group is the ultimate objective. In Chapter 1 we report the results of fMRI experiment in which subjects faced simple decision problem in both private and social environments without strategic interactions. The analysis of behavioral and neural data provides evidence for subjects performing social comparisons exhibiting envy and pride while evaluating outcomes of decisions. This effect is even stronger if decision-makers bear relatively more responsibility for the resulting difference in outcomes. In Chapters 2 and 3 we explore social comparisons in strategic situations focusing on 3-person ultimatum game, first in purely behavioral and then in fMRI experiments. In the former we find evidence for responders exhibiting envy and pride. In Chapter 3 we focused on neural basis of rejections of low but positive amounts of money by responders. We show that the involvement of negative emotions in rejections of such low but positive offers is not due to their unfairness, but rather reflects negative reputational signal that the actual acceptance can send to others about the responder. Finally, we implicated nucleus accumbens in the decision process behind responders' decision on low but positive offers. This is an area, shown elsewhere to track subjective value of rewards, and that exhibited envy and pride effects documented in chapter 1. From the methodological standpoint Chapters 1 and 3 show how an economist can test an economic model on both behavioral and neural data. Such tests of economic theory are more credible in our view despite the necessity of making additional assumptions related to the use of neural data.

Description

University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. December 2008. Major: Aldo Rustichini. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 88 pages. appendices 3A-3B, includes (some col.) illustration.

Related to

Replaces

License

Collections

Series/Report Number

Funding information

Isbn identifier

Doi identifier

Previously Published Citation

Suggested citation

Grygolec, Jaroslaw. (2008). Neuroeconomics of social decisions. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/47071.

Content distributed via the University Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor. By using these files, users agree to the Terms of Use. Materials in the UDC may contain content that is disturbing and/or harmful. For more information, please see our statement on harmful content in digital repositories.