C.E. (Catalina) Ratala MSc

Catalina Ratala
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
ERIM PhD Candidate
Field: Marketing
Affiliated since 2012

PhD Track Behavioural and Neural Evidence for Processes Underlying Biases in Decision-Making

Every one of us makes numerous decisions every day. Regardless of whether these decisions are trivial (i.e., what to eat for lunch) or of substantial consequence (i.e., what job to choose), the process of choosing the most adequate option between alternatives involves weighing their different aspects, while considering our associated goals and expectations. However, this choice process can be subject to contextual influences, being affected by other factors except the decision-maker’s values, needs and goals: Decision-making can be biased.

The aim of this dissertation is to provide insights into how certain, seemingly trivial, aspects that pertain to the decision at hand can have a substantial impact on the final outcome, both in social and in consumer contexts. These studies emphasize three main points. First, the susceptibility of different types of decisions to the effects of contextual factors. Second, that such biases occur at different moments in the decisional process. Third, the advantages of multidisciplinary approaches in the study of value-guided decisions. By combining neuroscientific methodology with experimental manipulations, pharmacology, and self-report measures, this thesis showcases how questions relevant to social and consumer contexts can be addressed from different perspectives.

Keywords
neuroeconomics, decision neuroscience, consumer neuroscience, biased valuation, social decisions, value updating, context effects, neuroimaging, ritalin
Time frame
2012 -

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