Cognitive control and the path to better economic decision making

author: Grega Repovš, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana
published: Sept. 7, 2015,   recorded: May 2015,   views: 1424


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It is often—at least implicitly—assumed that better cognitive control should lead to more rational and therefore better decision making, an assumption which influences strategies for management control that often try to incentivize deliberate reasoning and explicit cognitive control. Increased cognitive effort is, however, costly, unreliable, and can lead to paradoxical strengthening of suboptimal decisions rather than enabling more optimal ones. In this talk, we will first explore how effective are incentives in improving cognitive control, both in terms of behavioral outcomes as well as brain activation. Next, we will review studies investigating the mechanisms of cognitive effort underlying different reward schemes, and comparing the efficiency and estimated cost of effortfull self-control vs. reframing to promote optimal choices. Finally, we will consider alternative strategies of employing cognitive control towards the path to better economic decision making.

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