MIT Video Lecture: Basics of Neuroeconomics

Here is a lecture from MIT online on the basics of neuroeconomics. Hope you had a great weekend!

Video Introduction (Via MIT)

A pioneer in a “dangerously hot research area,” Drazen Prelec peers into the human brain while it makes decisions. In his corner of the new field of neuroeconomics, Prelec uses a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine to scan minds pondering the pros and cons of purchasing and selling products like Godiva chocolate and flash drives.

Prelec first provides a brief background on the emergence of his discipline, made possible by technological advances in measuring brain activity, and the recent introduction of psychology into economics. The convergence (or perhaps collision) of behavioral approaches and economics has led to a “sustained criticism of the rationality assumption in economics,” says Prelec, most prevalent in game theory. So much current research, he says, “is a series of responses to the incorrect predictions of the rational normative model.”

Some Nobel Prize-winning work has emerged in the past few decades from studying the differences between the way human beings actually behave and the way classic economics suggests. Prelec describes prospect theory, which captures in a formula how there is “something about the way our mind deals with numbers (so that) if you look at positive things, you have one way of looking, and at negative, it’s a different way.”

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23. November 2008 by Miguel Barbosa
Categories: Curated Readings, Psychology & Sociology | Leave a comment

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