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fMRI evidence of a hot-cold empathy gap in hypothetical and real aversive choices

Kang, Min J. and Camerer, Colin F. (2013) fMRI evidence of a hot-cold empathy gap in hypothetical and real aversive choices. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 7 . Art. No. 104. ISSN 1662-453X. PMCID PMC3677130. doi:10.3389/fnins.2013.00104.

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Hypothetical bias is the common finding that hypothetical monetary values for “goods” are higher than real values. We extend this research to the domain of “bads” such as consumer and household choices made to avoid aversive outcomes (e.g., insurance). Previous evidence of hot-cold empathy gaps suggest food disgust is likely to be strongly underestimated in hypothetical (cold) choice. Depending on relative underestimation of food disgust and pain of spending, the hypothetical bias for aversive bad scan go in the typical direction for goods, disappear, or reverse in sign. We find that the bias is reversed in sign—subjects pay more to avoid bads when choice is real. fMRI shows that real choice more strongly activates striatum and medial prefrontal cortex (reward regions) and shows distinct activity in insula and amygdala (disgust and fear regions). The neural findings suggest ways to exogeneously manipulate or record brain activity in order to create better forecasts of actual consumer choice.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Camerer, Colin F.0000-0003-4049-1871
Additional Information:© 2013 Kang and Camerer. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and subject to any copyright notices concerning any third-party graphics etc. Received: 03 March 2013; Paper pending published: 26 March 2013; Accepted: 24 May 2013; Published online: 10 June 2013. Author Contributions: Design: Min J. Kang, Colin F. Camerer. Data collection: Min J. Kang. Data analysis: Min J. Kang. Writing: Min J. Kang, Colin F. Camerer. Conflict of Interest Statement: The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest. Acknowledgments: The authors thank Hilke Plassmann and Antonio Rangel for sharing their aversive-food stimulus set. Thanks to The Betty and Gordon Moore Foundation Colin F. Camerer.
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Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:hypothetical bias, aversive bads, fMRI, medial prefrontal cortex, amygdala, decision making, neuroeconomics
PubMed Central ID:PMC3677130
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20171128-082506404
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Official Citation:Kang MJ and Camerer CF (2013) fMRI evidence of a hot-cold empathy gap in hypothetical and real aversive choices. Front. Neurosci. 7:104. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2013.00104
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:83484
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:28 Nov 2017 17:24
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 19:58

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