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Neural Activity Reveals Preferences without Choices

Smith, Alec and Bernheim, B. Douglas and Camerer, Colin F. and Rangel, Antonio (2014) Neural Activity Reveals Preferences without Choices. American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, 6 (2). pp. 1-36. ISSN 1945-7669. PMCID PMC4339868. doi:10.1257/mic.6.2.1.

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We investigate the feasibility of inferring the choices people would make (if given the opportunity) based on their neural responses to the pertinent prospects when they are not engaged in actual decision making. The ability to make such inferences is of potential value when choice data are unavailable, or limited in ways that render standard methods of estimating choice mappings problematic. We formulate prediction models relating choices to "nonchoice" neural responses, and use them to predict out-of-sample choices for new items and for new groups of individuals. The predictions are sufficiently accurate to establish the feasibility of our approach.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Supplement CentralArticle
Smith, Alec0000-0002-1938-4660
Camerer, Colin F.0000-0003-4049-1871
Additional Information:© 2014 American Economic Association. Alec Smith thanks Todd Hare and Ian Krajbich for many helpful discussions. Camerer and Rangel thankfully acknowledge financial support from the National Science Foundation (Grant SES-0850840), while Camerer is greatly appreciative of financial support from the Lipper Family Foundation and the Betty and Gordon Moore Foundation.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Lipper Family FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:2
Classification Code:JEL Classification: D12; D87
PubMed Central ID:PMC4339868
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140605-094755605
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Smith, Alec, B. Douglas Bernheim, Colin F. Camerer, and Antonio Rangel. 2014. "Neural Activity Reveals Preferences without Choices." American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, 6(2): 1-36. DOI: 10.1257/mic.6.2.1
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:46094
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:06 Jun 2014 15:44
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 17:20

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