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The Prospects for Homo economicus

A new fMRI study debunks the myth that
we are rational-utility money maximizers
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Imagine that your child’s private school tuition bill of $20,000 is due and the only source you have for paying it is the sale of some of your stock holdings. Fortunately, you got in on the great Google godsend and purchased 100 shares at $200 each, for a total investment of $20,000, and the stock is now at $400 a share. (continue reading…)

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Free to Choose

The neuroscience of choice exposes the power of ideas
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Have you ever watched a white rat choose between an 8 and 32 percent sucrose solution by pressing two different bars on variable-interval schedules of reinforcement? No? Lucky you. I devoted two years of what would otherwise have been a misspent youth to running choice experiments with rats in Skinner boxes for my master’s thesis on “Choice in Rats as a Function of Reinforcer Intensity and Quality.” Boys gone wild! (continue reading…)

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