This is Michael Fitzgerald's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Michael Fitzgerald's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Michael Fitzgerald
Recent Activity
I found the topic of focus in this experiment a very interesting one to use. To use smoking makes sense because of the large number of both statistics to use to reduce likelihood of purchase and equally large number of images to do the same. Both the statistics and images should illicit powerful emotions in people, but the massive difference in results in these two techniques is fascinating. However, the interesting part of it was the difference in how it affects different groups. The authors suggest that there are somewhat large differences between the effects on smokers and non-smokers. This makes sense because the decision to buy cigarettes is much different to these two groups. Non-smokers are making a slightly less emotional decision than smokers. Smokers may take the images more seriously because the risks are more real, but they could also make an emotional (and physical in terms of nicotine addiction) decision when actually buying cigarettes. I think it is important that there were differences in the results for these two groups because they are going through much different decision making processes.
Toggle Commented Nov 10, 2015 on ECON 398 for next Tuesday at Jolly Green General
I found it very interesting that emotions can be distinguished as exogenous and endogenous. It isn’t a difficult concept to understand, but is an important distinction to make when discussing decision making. It was also interesting to me that more work had been done on exogenous emotions than on endogenous ones. This seems like it could be the result of economics becoming involved with psychology. By studying exogenous emotions, they were able to understand how an emotional state of mind can have an impact on the thought-process and decision-making of an individual. Exogenous emotions affecting decisions is interesting from the standpoint of explaining and predicting decisions on a case by case basis. Endogenous emotions affecting decision making seems to be much more on the incentive side. By doing something that would likely instigate a certain emotion in a person, you can accurately predict how they will act. This made it intriguing that shame offered results as an endogenous emotion but not exogenous. If a person is feeling shame about something unrelated it isn’t likely to affect their decisions, but if an action could or has resulted in shame that will have an impact.
Toggle Commented Nov 3, 2015 on Econ 398 at Jolly Green General
I found the section about envy and schadenfreude to be very interesting. They are two major social emotions that seem to be going against what we would expect to happen with empathetic abilities. However, what was really interesting to me was that they are closely related to revenge and altruistic punishment when fairness preferences have been violated. It shows that these are not emotions that contradict theory of mind, but just react in a different way. A person does not feel envy or schadenfreude because they are simply selfish people; it happens because they believe that the hierarchy (or perceived hierarchy) is unfair. When a person is envious of someone else’s success it is because they see something as being contradictory to fairness. The person does not believe the other person “deserves” their success because they are “no better” than themselves. When a person experiences schadenfreude in a situation instead of empathy it is because the “fairness” part of their brain had a stronger reaction than the sharing feelings part of their brain.
Toggle Commented Oct 27, 2015 on econ 398 next two weeks at Jolly Green General
I found one sentence in this chapter very interesting. “The experimental investigation of the relation between emotion and decision making requires that researchers measure or manipulate a generally agreed upon affective component.” The part of this that I found very interesting was the “generally agreed upon” part. This to me more accurately shows the relationship between economics and neuroscience than anything else. When economists write papers they list “assumptions,” despite the fact that those have yet to be proven completely true themselves. Whenever economists debate, each will say that their point is “generally agreed upon.” On the neuroscience side this is equally true based on this reading. They use a “generally agreed upon affective component” to measure emotion. Not only is the not-so-firm idea of general consensus questionable, but what they are measuring is just to see if something happens. They do not know how to effective measure the qualitative value of the emotion, only that it was linked to emotion. This is also very similar to economics because economists often try to equate correlation and causation without proper evidence. In economics, this stems mostly from the inability to conduct controlled experiments on a large scale; while in neuroscience it stems from an inability to accurately measure brain activity and what it means. While there may be different underlying problems in the two disciplines, the problem remains the same.
Toggle Commented Oct 20, 2015 on ECON 398 at Jolly Green General
I believe that neuroeconomics is a discipline within economics that serves legitimize, or possibly, the work of behavioral economists. As economics is a study of human behavior and decision making it is only logical that advancements in neuroscience should be important to advancements in economics. In economics there are so many assumptions based on what is believed to be normative human behavior. However, it is also commonly understood by economists, who use these assumptions, that none of them always hold. The reason that they do not hold is because humans do not always make logical decisions. It is important for economists to study the decisions of people, instead of normative, logical decisions. This is why including neuroscience in the study of economics is so important. If economists could understand that science behind why humans make certain decisions, then it would be much more likely that they would produce models that reflect the true nature of the world instead of how it would work if every person was “rational.” The one part of the chapter I was a bit confused about was the way it was described that the two disciplines, economics and neuroscience work to benefit each other. I can definitely see economists paying attention to neuroscientific work, but I do not see it happening quite as often in the other direction.
Toggle Commented Sep 22, 2015 on ECON 398 at Jolly Green General
Michael Fitzgerald is now following The Typepad Team
Sep 21, 2015