Potential psychological accounts for the relation between food insecurity and body overweight
. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 2017
, 53. Publisher's VersionAbstract
We suggest two psychological mechanisms, temporal discounting and feeling of resource scarcity, for explaining the relation between food insecurity and body overweight. We demonstrate how Nettle et al.'s findings could be explained, post hoc, by each of these accounts, suggesting that their data are not rich enough to allow identification of mechanisms that underlie food insecurity and overweight relationship.
From anomalies to forecasts: Toward a descriptive model of decisions under risk, under ambiguity, and from experience. Psychological Review 2017
, 369 - 409.Abstract
Experimental studies of choice behavior document distinct, and sometimes contradictory, deviations from maximization. For example, people tend to overweight rare events in 1-shot decisions under risk, and to exhibit the opposite bias when they rely on past experience. The common explanations of these results assume that the contradicting anomalies reflect situation-specific processes that involve the weighting of subjective values and the use of simple heuristics. The current article analyzes 14 choice anomalies that have been described by different models, including the Allais, St. Petersburg, and Ellsberg paradoxes, and the reflection effect. Next, it uses a choice prediction competition methodology to clarify the interaction between the different anomalies. It focuses on decisions under risk (known payoff distributions) and under ambiguity (unknown probabilities), with and without feedback concerning the outcomes of past choices. The results demonstrate that it is not necessary to assume situation-specific processes. The distinct anomalies can be captured by assuming high sensitivity to the expected return and 4 additional tendencies: pessimism, bias toward equal weighting, sensitivity to payoff sign, and an effort to minimize the probability of immediate regret. Importantly, feedback increases sensitivity to probability of regret. Simple abstractions of these assumptions, variants of the model Best Estimate and Sampling Tools (BEAST), allow surprisingly accurate ex ante predictions of behavior. Unlike the popular models, BEAST does not assume subjective weighting functions or cognitive shortcuts. Rather, it assumes the use of sampling tools and reliance on small samples, in addition to the estimation of the expected values. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
Bitter mouth-rinse affects emotions
. Food Quality and Preference 2017
, 154 - 164. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The sense of taste enables evaluation of food and is an important regulator of food consumption. In general, sweet is an attractive taste modality that leads to ingestion of nutritive food, while sour and bitter are aversive taste modalities that lead to avoidance of spoiled and toxic food. Recent studies suggest inter-connections between taste, emotion and cognition. Here we test the potential effects of two prototypical taste modalities, bitter and sweet, on emotions and on generalized avoidance behaviors, such as risk aversion and mistrust. Three experiments included over 250 participants who tasted, without swallowing, one of the following stimuli: water control, quinine solution, sucrose solution, quinine-sucrose mixture solution, or propylthiouracil (PROP) solution. The participants had to identify the taste, rank its intensity, perform seemingly unrelated behavioral tasks, and fill a PANAS mood questionnaire. Our results indicate that oral exposure to bitter compounds negatively correlates with mood scores; that the effect depends on perceiving the solution as bitter; that bitter mouth rinse can lower PANAS mood score and that there is a potential asymmetry in the effects of bitter and sweet taste modalities on mood.
Revisiting risk aversion: Can risk preferences change with experience?
. Economics Letters 2017
, 91 - 95. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The Holt–Laury measure for risk aversion has been used extensively in economic studies to measure individuals’ risk aversion. The idea behind this measure is that individuals have stable risk preferences when making decisions under risk. We show that having repeated experiences with the Holt–Laury task can move individuals from exhibiting “risk aversion” to displaying “risk neutrality.” This finding suggests that either risk preferences are not robust to a few experiences or that responses to the tasks indicate something else. We show that a simple model of adaptation can capture this behavioral pattern.