NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Alec Smith

Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences
California Institute of Technology
MC 228-77
Pasadena, CA 91125

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

August 2013Neural Activity Reveals Preferences Without Choices
with B. Douglas Bernheim, Colin Camerer, Antonio Rangel: w19270
We investigate the feasibility of inferring the choices people would make (if given the opportunity) based on their neural responses to the pertinent prospects when they are not engaged in actual decision making. The ability to make such inferences is of potential value when choice data are unavailable, or limited in ways that render standard methods of estimating choice mappings problematic. We formulate prediction models relating choices to "non-choice" neural responses and use them to predict out-of-sample choices for new items and for new groups of individuals. The predictions are sufficiently accurate to establish the feasibility of our approach.

Published: Alec Smith & B. Douglas Bernheim & Colin F. Camerer & Antonio Rangel, 2014. "Neural Activity Reveals Preferences without Choices," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 1-36, May. citation courtesy of

 
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