Neurorationality: A Neuroeconomic Approach to Mental Health and Good Sense

Hardcover | February 21, 2008

byPeter Politser

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As technology has opened new windows into the brain, it has revealed a great deal about what happens there when people make decisions about money. These revelations have given rise to a new field, called neuroeconomics. The field promises to answer both economic and emotional questions aboutbehavior surrounding situations involving money--such as why people save, buy stocks, steal, and overspend. Interest in neuroeconomics has spread outward to many different fields--marketing, management, education, psychology, political science, and law--but it has also pulled the focus of many ofthese fields inward, toward a common neurobiology that unites them. As a result, we have begun to learn that some fields' concerns are not as different as they have appeared to be. For example, the monetary concerns of economics and the emotional concerns of the mental health fields, on the surface,look very different. But when it comes to distinguishing the two, many neural circuits do not have a clue. Many of the fear circuits do not know if we are worried about stocks or terrorists. And most of the reward circuits do not know if we are picking up a paycheck or checking out an attractiveface. There has, however, been no book that adequately explores the most basic commonality between these different disciplines: a question asked by economics and mental health researchers, as well as those in a variety of other fields: What are the essential elements of rationality or "good sense"?What are the common elements of god economic decisions and adaptive emotional judgments? The proposed volulme will fill this gap by introducing a new framework for evaluating certain aspects of good--or poor--judgment, providing a model for making sense of our evaluations, and showing howneuroeconomic methods will ultimately help us to recognize inconsistency in values, measure response to monetary risk and reward, discover more specific elements of response, and inject more sense into different concepts of good sense. This volume will be a valuable addition to the literature forthose in psychology, neuroscience, economics, emotional intelligence, legal competency, consumer psychology, and decision-making.

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As technology has opened new windows into the brain, it has revealed a great deal about what happens there when people make decisions about money. These revelations have given rise to a new field, called neuroeconomics. The field promises to answer both economic and emotional questions aboutbehavior surrounding situations involving mon...

Peter Politser is in the Department of Family Medicine, Brown University.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:384 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.98 inPublished:February 21, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195305825

ISBN - 13:9780195305821

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Table of Contents

ForewordIntroduction: Toward a Biology of Rational Choice. 1Are we Making Rational Choices? 2The Concepts of Economic Optimality, Mental Health,Legal capacity and Emotional IntelligenceWhat are the Elements of Rational Choice? 3Some Foundations of NeurorationalityThe Efficacy of Evaluation: Economic Elements of the Ability to Evaluate Risk and Reward. 4The Effectiveness of Evaluation: A Broader Sense of Evaluation Capacities. 55.1 Evaluations5.2 Comparisons between outcomes and goals5.3 Changes in reference pointsFuture Directions for the New Science. 6

Editorial Reviews

"Peter Politser has provided a valuable and readable introduction to the burgeoning field of neuroeconomics that successfully brings together the essential concepts from psychology, neuroscience and economics."--T.W. Robbins, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Cambridge