The outstanding achievements of researchers at ERIM were recognised in its annual awards on 24 November. Six awards were presented for work that contributes to new knowledge and societal impact in international business and management through dissertations and articles across a range of subject areas. New knowledge that was recognised in the ERIM Awards focused on neural representations of consumer experience; social identity and information exchange; collaboration across boundaries; disaster relief logistics; and bringing the principles of open science forward to younger generations.
Erasmus Centre for Neuroeconomics
The Erasmus Centre for Neuroeconomics
Economics, psychology, and neuroscience are converging today into the unified discipline of Neuroeconomics with the ultimate aim of providing a single, general theory of human choice behaviour. Neuroeconomics can provide social scientists and future managers with a deeper understanding of how they make their own decisions, and how others decide. How does our brain arrive at a “good” or “fair” decision? What does our brain perceive as valuable and how do we learn the value of features of our environment? Is it possible to use recordings from consumers' brains to predict their purchasing intentions? Research at the Erasmus Centre for Neuroeconomics aims to answer these questions.
Sebastian Speer was awarded a doctorate with the distinction cum laude for his dissertation: The (Dis)Honest and (Un)Fair Brain: Investigating the Neural Underpinnings of Moral Decisions.
In his dissertation Sebastian provided three contributions to better understand the neurocognitive underpinnings of individual differences in moral decision-making. First, it provides reconciliation of a long-standing debate in the literature on the role of cognitive control in (dis)honesty. Second, he contributed by identifying stable neural markers that can be used to predict individual differences in (dis)honesty. Lastly, Sebastian provided a behavioral paradigm that can be used to inconspicuously measure voluntary, spontaneous and repeated cheating on a trial-by-trial basis in the MRI scanner or while recording EEG.
Ground-breaking research by Ale Smidts and Maarten Boksem of the Erasmus Centre for Neuroeconomics has been recognised with the Insight Scientist of the Year award from the Dutch centre of expertise for marketing professionals, MOA.
Every day we have the opportunity to lie, cheat and be dishonest for personal gain. Alternatively, we can choose to be a ‘good person’ and uphold our positive moral self-image. It is generally assumed that our cognitive control or ‘willpower’ steers people away from immoral decisions.
But according to new research from PhD candidate Sebastian Speer, Professor Ale Smidts and Dr Maarten Boksem of Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM), cognitive control does not serve the same purpose for everyone. In fact, this control actually enables cheating for people who are usually honest, while it facilitates honest decisions for cheaters.
In her dissertation 'Context Dependent Valuation. A neuroscientific perspective on consumer decision-making’, Linda Couwenberg takes an interdisciplinary approach to study how different types of contextual information can increase the desirability of anticipated outcomes and thereby influence common, everyday, consumer behaviors.