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Homo neuro-oeconomicus: a landscape of ethical pitfalls in a changing economical paradigm


Kaufmann, I (2008). Homo neuro-oeconomicus: a landscape of ethical pitfalls in a changing economical paradigm. In: Swiss Science Technology and Society (STS) Meeting 2008, ETH Zurich and University of Zurich, 6 February 2008 - 9 February 2008.

Abstract

Neuroeconomics is one prominent example of the technology driven shift in social sciences. As a new and interdisciplinary field combining Neuroscience, Psychology and Economics, it is expected to provide the premise of fundamentally new insights into human behaviour and in improving the existing models in rational choice and game theory or to advance attempts in marketing. New research options are opened up for economics with the progress of Neuroscience and especially brain imaging technologies like functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Besides the benefits of interdisciplinary research and the emerging trend of doing “business with the brain” only view effort has been made to stimulate a critical discussion of ethical issues in Neuroeconomics. So far a neuroethical debate is most notably held for Neuroscience and the use of brain imaging technologies for medical purposes. Given the fact that Neuroeconomics uses the same technologies as for clinical research and medical application, a consideration about ethical issues appears as a vital duty. Further is neuroeconomic research about to enter a level of application in daily business life which can provoke even new aspects of ethical risks. Hence this contribution advises to fulfil that duty and starts to consider ethical questions in Neuroeconomics. We see three points of contact where ethical issues have already occurred or are about to develop: within experimental settings of Neuroeconomics, the way research results are reported in public and academic media, and when brain imaging technologies enter the stage of commercial use (e.g. Neuromarketing, Neurofinance). After a clear outline of ethical issues within Neuroeconomics the contribution further depicts, to what extend existing ethical debates of Neuroethics or Business Ethics are beneficial to address ethical dilemmas in the “neuralized world” of economics.

Neuroeconomics is one prominent example of the technology driven shift in social sciences. As a new and interdisciplinary field combining Neuroscience, Psychology and Economics, it is expected to provide the premise of fundamentally new insights into human behaviour and in improving the existing models in rational choice and game theory or to advance attempts in marketing. New research options are opened up for economics with the progress of Neuroscience and especially brain imaging technologies like functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Besides the benefits of interdisciplinary research and the emerging trend of doing “business with the brain” only view effort has been made to stimulate a critical discussion of ethical issues in Neuroeconomics. So far a neuroethical debate is most notably held for Neuroscience and the use of brain imaging technologies for medical purposes. Given the fact that Neuroeconomics uses the same technologies as for clinical research and medical application, a consideration about ethical issues appears as a vital duty. Further is neuroeconomic research about to enter a level of application in daily business life which can provoke even new aspects of ethical risks. Hence this contribution advises to fulfil that duty and starts to consider ethical questions in Neuroeconomics. We see three points of contact where ethical issues have already occurred or are about to develop: within experimental settings of Neuroeconomics, the way research results are reported in public and academic media, and when brain imaging technologies enter the stage of commercial use (e.g. Neuromarketing, Neurofinance). After a clear outline of ethical issues within Neuroeconomics the contribution further depicts, to what extend existing ethical debates of Neuroethics or Business Ethics are beneficial to address ethical dilemmas in the “neuralized world” of economics.

Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Business Administration
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Event End Date:9 February 2008
Deposited On:05 Feb 2009 13:27
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:56
Official URL:http://hsozkult.geschichte.hu-berlin.de/tagungsberichte/id=2031&count=72&recno=51&sort=anfang&order=down&hskyear=2008&search=homo

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