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Social capabilities in Alzheimer’s patients

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Abstract

Patients with stage-I (very mild and mild) Alzheimer’s disease were asked to participate in a Dictator Game, a type of game in which a subject has to decide how to allocate a certain amount of money between himself and another person. The game enables the experimenter to examine the influence of social norms and social preferences on the decision-making process. When the results of treatments involving Alzheimer’s disease patients were compared with those of identical treatments involving patients with mild cognitive impairment or healthy control subjects, with similar ages and social backgrounds, no statistically significant difference was found. This finding suggests that stage-I Alzheimer’s disease patients may be as capable of making decisions involving social norms and preferences as other individuals of their age. Whatever brain structures are affected by the disease, they do not appear to influence, at this early stage, the neural basis for cooperation-enhancing social interactions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 1020.

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Date of creation: Jan 2007
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Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1020

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Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

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Keywords: Alzheimer patients; social behavior; dictator games;

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  1. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 1996. "Altruism in Anonymous Dictator Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 181-191, October.
  2. Bellemare, Charles & Kröger, Sabine, 2003. "On Representative Trust," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2003,27, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
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  5. Matthias Sutter & Martin G. Kocher, 2004. "Age and the development of trust and reciprocity," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2004-01, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  6. Catherine Eckel & Philip Grossman, 2000. "Volunteers and Pseudo-Volunteers: The Effect of Recruitment Method in Dictator Experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 107-120, October.
  7. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
  8. Bohnet, Iris & Frey, Bruno S., 1999. "The sound of silence in prisoner's dilemma and dictator games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 43-57, January.
  9. Fehr, Ernst & Fischbacher, Urs & Schupp, Jürgen & von Rosenbladt, Bernhard & Wagner, Gert Georg, 2003. "A Nationwide Laboratory Examining Trust and Trustworthiness by Integrating Behavioural Experiments into Representative Surveys," CEPR Discussion Papers 3858, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Bellemare, Charles & Kröger, Sabine, 2004. "On Representative Social Capital," IZA Discussion Papers 1145, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Hoffman, Elizabeth & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon L, 1996. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 653-60, June.
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