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Disentangling Motivational and Experiential Aspects of "Utility" - A Neuroeconomics Perspective

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  • Ulrich Witt
  • Martin Binder

Abstract

Although decision makers are often reported to have difficulties in making comparisons between multi-dimensional decision outcomes, economic theory assumes a uni-dimensional utility measure. This paper reviews evidence from behavioral and brain sciences to assess whether, and for what reasons, this assumption may be warranted. It is claimed that the decision makers' difficulties can be explained once the motivational aspects of utility ("wanting") are disentangled from the experiential ones ("liking") and the features of the different psychological processes involved are recognized.

Suggested Citation

  • Ulrich Witt & Martin Binder, 2011. "Disentangling Motivational and Experiential Aspects of "Utility" - A Neuroeconomics Perspective," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2011-20, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  • Handle: RePEc:esi:evopap:2011-20
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Binder & Leonhard K. Lades, 2015. "Autonomy-Enhancing Paternalism," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 3-27, February.
    2. Ulrich Witt, 2016. "The transformations of utility theory: a behavioral perspective," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 211-228, October.
    3. Martin Binder, 2014. "Should evolutionary economists embrace libertarian paternalism?," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 515-539, July.
    4. Lades, Leonhard K., 2014. "Impulsive consumption and reflexive thought: Nudging ethical consumer behavior," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 114-128.
    5. Binder, Martin & Lades, Leonhard K, 2014. "Autonomy-enhancing paternalism," 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon TN 2015-02, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    utility; neuroeconomics; index number problem; wanting; liking; affective; forecasting;

    JEL classification:

    • D87 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Neuroeconomics
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • B12 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Classical (includes Adam Smith)

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