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Comparative Decision Making$
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Thomas R. Zentall and Philip H. Crowley

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199856800

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199856800.001.0001

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What Can Neuroeconomics Tell Us About Economics (and Vice Versa)?

What Can Neuroeconomics Tell Us About Economics (and Vice Versa)?

(p.163) Chapter 7 What Can Neuroeconomics Tell Us About Economics (and Vice Versa)?
Comparative Decision Making

Mark Dean

Oxford University Press

This chapter evaluates the progress and impact of neuroeconomics, showing how models and data can be linked to provide mechanistic insights into a classical decision-making field. The focus is on the development and testing of models of the economic choice process and of neurobiological mechanisms themselves. Just what this approach generally contributes to understanding the questions addressed by economists is controversial, but there are arguments for the value of both an inspirational role that helps generate new mechanistic models and an enhanced ability to break process models into manageable pieces. The author emphasizes the importance of as if logic in classical utility maximization, arguing that this approach is vulnerable to uncertainties about how environmental conditions map to decision-making outcomes. The prevalence of these uncertainties makes a focus on neural mechanisms particularly useful. The last two sections of the chapter describe axiomatic modelling.

Keywords:   neuroeconomics, models, economic choice, neurobiological mechanisms, utility maximization, environmental conditions

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