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Neural Correlates of Decision Variables and Strategic Preferences

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Psychological Perspectives on Financial Decision Making

Abstract

Financial decision-making often involves the assessment of risk and reward across a given time frame, along with any number of contextual factors that could impact decision strategies and outcomes. These complex decisions have a significant long- and short-term impact on people’s lives – from investment and financial planning to healthcare and medical decisions. A central goal of decision neuroscience research has been to improve our understanding of decision preferences and strategies, taking into account biological constraints and limitations. Scientists have incorporated neuroimaging and neuroscientific techniques in both human and animal models to better understand the biological basis of decision processes and subsequent individual differences in decision-making. More recently, researchers have begun to take network and computational approaches to understand the neurobiological mechanisms that influence decision-making across a variety of domains. In this chapter, we provide a brief overview of the field of decision neuroscience and the criticisms and progress made over the past two decades. Next, we will outline key regions and systems of the brain that map onto distinct decision variables and inform our understanding of financial decision-making processes and mechanisms. Lastly, we will identify and review critical findings surrounding the neuroscience of how people employ different decision-making strategies. As the field of decision neuroscience matures, we also identify future areas of research and its impact on financial decision-making.

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Venkatraman, V., Beard, E.C. (2020). Neural Correlates of Decision Variables and Strategic Preferences. In: Zaleskiewicz, T., Traczyk, J. (eds) Psychological Perspectives on Financial Decision Making. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-45500-2_2

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