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A Brain Imaging Study of the Choice Procedure
University of Minnesota.
University of Minnesota.
Università di Torino.
Kansas State University.
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2005 (English)In: Games and Economic Behavior, ISSN 0899-8256, E-ISSN 1090-2473, Vol. 52, no 2, 257-282 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We study the behavior of subjects facing choices between certain, risky, and ambiguous lotteries. Subjects' choices are consistent with the economic theories modeling ambiguity aversion. Our results support the conjecture that subjects face choice tasks as an estimation of the value of the lotteries, and that the difficulty of the choice is an important explanatory variable (in addition to risk and ambiguity aversion).

The brain imaging data suggest that such estimation is of an approximate nature when the choices involve ambiguous and risky lotteries, as the regions in the brain that are activated are typically located in parietal lobes. Thus such choices require mental faculties that are shared by all mammals, and in particular are independent of language. In contrast, choices involving partial ambiguous lotteries additionally produce an activation of the frontal region, which indicates a different, more sophisticated cognitive process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 52, no 2, 257-282 p.
Keyword [en]
Brain imaging; Decision theory; Ambiguity; Procedural choice
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-30104DOI: 10.1016/j.geb.2004.08.005Local ID: 15573OAI: diva2:250925
Available from: 2009-10-09 Created: 2009-10-09 Last updated: 2010-05-31

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Smith, Christian Skinner
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