Three brainy abstracts for the NeuroPsychoEconomics conference

 In applied neuroscience, arousal, branding, conference, decision making, emotion, eye-tracking, motivation, neuroeconomics, neuromarketing, preference, presentations, rationality, risk taking, unconscious

We have recently received notice that all three conference submissions have been accepted for this year’s NeuroPsychoEconomics conference, to be held in Munich, Germany.

Below you can see each of the abstracts. Topically, they can be summarised as follows:

  1. How perceived price and country of origin affects people’s preference for wine, and why it makes a difference whether you are French, Italian or anything else
  2. Gambling in everyday life – making an ecologically valid gambling test based on the Iowa Gambling Test
  3. Does the illusion of control depend on your mood?
wine-pouring1. What counts most? How price, country of origin and nationality dynamically affect consumer preference.
Bagdziunaite D, Jensen AS, Auning J, Clement J, Ramsøy TZ
Framing is a well-established phenomenon in neuroeconomics and consumer neuroscience demonstrating decision susceptibility to the different market factors such as price, country of origin (CoO), and brands, resulting not only in variability of consumer preferences, but as well in the changes of neural correlations in the brain. Even though price, CoO, and brands frame effects have been at the focus of the research in decision science for decades, the relative individual strength and dynamic interaction of these effects on behavioural and emotional responses still woefully lacks of any understanding. To abate this problem, we conducted an experiment, recruiting participants from three regions (Italy, France and rest of world), to undergo the wine testing and indicate their willingness to pay (WTP) while being manipulated by different CoO and price of each wine. Unbeknownst to the participants, they all tasted the same wine. By running the linear regression model, our results demonstrate that price and CoO individually have a significant effect on the hedonic experience of wine (R2=0.11, p<0.0001). Furthermore, two-way interactions have shown hat price effect on preference varies based on CoO, hence preference have the strong correlation with indicated WTP for the wine. Finally, we find that price and CoO effects on WTP vary depending on nationality. To provide a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of the observed behavioural effects, we as well collected the pupillometry data to asses the emotional arousal. By studying the relationship between arousal and WTP, we find that during framing, pupil dilation was positively related to subsequent WTP (ß=0.167, p<0.0001), while during wine taste evaluation this relationship was negative (ß=-0.148, p<0.0001). Taken together, our results demonstrate branding effects can have both individual and dynamic effects that may depend on the recipient’s background. Furthermore, based on the results, framing have shown to be related to a dynamic response differing during framing and product tasting time points. Hence, this provides hints for how framing effects can be studied and managed in both academic and commercial setting.
household212. The Household Planning Game – assessing everyday risk taking with a novel gambling task using eye-tracking to measure the effect of visual attention during trials.
Koch L, Ramsøy TZ, Nyström M
A growing trend in society show that a number of people ends up in financial difficulties either because they have not learned to manage a budget, or because they have unrealistic expectations about what they can afford to buy. How can we teach these people to handle money in a more rational way and get them to think in long-term solutions rather than to just satisfy immediate needs? The objective of this study was construct a novel test assessing potential level for risk-seeking behavior in daily life. To this end, we created a new test – the Household Planning Page (HPG) – modelled upon the well-known Iowa Gambling Task (IGT). The basic foundations of the HPG did not differ largely from the traditional test. Notably, illustrations of consumer goods were positioned on top of the gambling cards, and participant were instructed that the task was to select a card as if it was a natural shopping or budget planning situation. A reward would follow each time a card was selected, and the aim was to win as much money as possible. The same reward schedule as the IGT was used in the HPG. 18 university students performed the HPG, which was separated into three conditions of 50/25/25 trials. During the test, we employed eye-tracking to assess the effect of visual attention during the trials. The results showed that non-risky cards were selected 30% and 37% of the times, a result very similar to the one gained by the healthy participants in the IGT by Bechara, Damasio et. al. (1994). Interestingly, when looking at the eye-tracking results, running an Area Of Interest (AOI) analysis, participants occasionally spent more time looking at risky cards, even if a good card is selected. We conclude that 1) the HPG can function as an ecologically valid alternative to the IGT; 2) participants were not highly potential risk-takers; and finally 3) that eye tracking during an IGT/HPG game can provide useful information about potential risk-seeking cues. We also found, that participants use more time to make a decision, when asked to buy a consumer item compared with the decision-making underlying paying monthly bills.


his_moods3. Happy and in charge. How moods affect the illusion of control.
Niaz N, Jacobsen C, Zeller C, Lins J, Ramsøy TZ 
Key findings from decision neuroscience question the basis of the rational decision-maker and show that far from all aspects influencing decision-making are controllable in the sense of being shaped or guided though conscious deliberation. So where does this illusion of control come from and what influences it? In this paper, we investigate the correlation between affective states, risk taking and the illusion of control, trying to understand how emotions and mood affect risk taking behavior and decision-making through a stock trading study. We find that moods have a dynamic relationship to the experience and illusion of control.


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