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The Neuroeconomics of Mind Reading and Empathy


Singer, Tania; Fehr, Ernst (2005). The Neuroeconomics of Mind Reading and Empathy. Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics No. 222, University of Zurich.

Abstract

"The most fundamental solution concepts in Game Theory – Nash equilibrium, backward induction, and iterated elimination of dominated strategies – are based on the assumption that people are capable of predicting others' actions. These concepts require people to be able to view the game from the other players’ perspectives, i.e. to understand others’ motives and beliefs. Economists still know little about what enables people to put themselves into others’nshoes and how this ability interacts with their own preferences and beliefs. Social neuroscience provides insights into the neural mechanism underlying our capacity to represent others' intentions, beliefs, and desires, referred to as ""Theory of Mind"" or ""mentalizing"", and the capacitynto share the feelings of others, referred to as ""empathy"". We summarize the major findings about the neural basis of mentalizing and empathizing and discuss some implications for economics."

Abstract

"The most fundamental solution concepts in Game Theory – Nash equilibrium, backward induction, and iterated elimination of dominated strategies – are based on the assumption that people are capable of predicting others' actions. These concepts require people to be able to view the game from the other players’ perspectives, i.e. to understand others’ motives and beliefs. Economists still know little about what enables people to put themselves into others’nshoes and how this ability interacts with their own preferences and beliefs. Social neuroscience provides insights into the neural mechanism underlying our capacity to represent others' intentions, beliefs, and desires, referred to as ""Theory of Mind"" or ""mentalizing"", and the capacitynto share the feelings of others, referred to as ""empathy"". We summarize the major findings about the neural basis of mentalizing and empathizing and discuss some implications for economics."

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Institute for Empirical Research in Economics (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:June 2005
Deposited On:29 Nov 2011 22:32
Last Modified:12 Aug 2017 12:56
Series Name:Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics
ISSN:1424-0459
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/wp.html

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