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How beliefs about self-creation inflate value in the human brain.

Koster R, Sharot T, Yuan R, De Martino B, Norton MI, Dolan RJ - Front Hum Neurosci (2015)

Bottom Line: Understanding how these errors in judgement emerge is important for explaining suboptimal decisions, as when individuals and groups choose self-created alternatives over superior or equal ones.Using brain imaging data we highlight the brain processes mediating an interaction between value and belief of self-creation.Our study highlights psychological and neurobiological processes through which false beliefs alter human valuation and in doing so throw light on a common source of error in judgements of value.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London London, UK ; Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, Institute of Neurology, University College London London, UK.

ABSTRACT
Humans have a tendency to overvalue their own ideas and creations. Understanding how these errors in judgement emerge is important for explaining suboptimal decisions, as when individuals and groups choose self-created alternatives over superior or equal ones. We show that such overvaluation is a reconstructive process that emerges when participants believe they have created an item, regardless of whether this belief is true or false. This overvaluation is observed both when false beliefs of self-creation are elicited (Experiment 1) or implanted (Experiment 2). Using brain imaging data we highlight the brain processes mediating an interaction between value and belief of self-creation. Specifically, following the creation manipulation there is an increased functional connectivity during valuation between the right caudate nucleus, where we show BOLD activity correlated with subjective value, and the left amygdala, where we show BOLD activity is linked to subjective belief. Our study highlights psychological and neurobiological processes through which false beliefs alter human valuation and in doing so throw light on a common source of error in judgements of value.

No MeSH data available.


Paradigm Experiment 1. (A) Session 1 (pre-manipulation) was conducted in the fMRI scanner. On each of the 80 trials participants were presented with an image of a different Converse shoe and asked to key in their suggested retail price for that shoe using a button box. (B) Session 2 (manipulation session) was performed on a computer outside the scanner. There were 40 create trials interleaved with 40 watch trials. On each create trial participants were given specific instructions for creating one of the shoes presented in Session 1 (i.e., no customization allowed). The instructions were given as a series of colors and patterns that indicated which color/pattern was to be chosen for each part of the shoe (there were nine parts including laces, outer body, heel, etc.). The participants created the shoe on the Converse website (they were trained on creating shoes before they began) and clicked “save” when they were finished. On watch trials they viewed a video that portrayed the shoe being created on the website. To make sure they attended, at the end of each watch trial they indicated whether a “tag” button was clicked on the video. (C) Session 3 (post manipulation) was identical to Session 1, except that participants were also asked to indicate if they created the shoe in the previous session, watched it being created, or did not know.
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Figure 1: Paradigm Experiment 1. (A) Session 1 (pre-manipulation) was conducted in the fMRI scanner. On each of the 80 trials participants were presented with an image of a different Converse shoe and asked to key in their suggested retail price for that shoe using a button box. (B) Session 2 (manipulation session) was performed on a computer outside the scanner. There were 40 create trials interleaved with 40 watch trials. On each create trial participants were given specific instructions for creating one of the shoes presented in Session 1 (i.e., no customization allowed). The instructions were given as a series of colors and patterns that indicated which color/pattern was to be chosen for each part of the shoe (there were nine parts including laces, outer body, heel, etc.). The participants created the shoe on the Converse website (they were trained on creating shoes before they began) and clicked “save” when they were finished. On watch trials they viewed a video that portrayed the shoe being created on the website. To make sure they attended, at the end of each watch trial they indicated whether a “tag” button was clicked on the video. (C) Session 3 (post manipulation) was identical to Session 1, except that participants were also asked to indicate if they created the shoe in the previous session, watched it being created, or did not know.

Mentions: To investigate how beliefs of self-creation are integrated into evaluation of items, we combined fMRI with a novel task in which participants evaluated 80 items before and after creating these pre-designed objects or watching the objects being created (Experiment 1, Figure 1). As the objects were pre-designed (equivalent to IKEA furniture) subjects could not design items according to their own preference. We included a large number of objects in our task so that subsequently participants would frequently hold false beliefs in regards to which items they created themselves and which they merely watched being created. This allowed us to dissociate the effect of creating an object from the mere belief in having created an object on changes in subjective value and brain activity. In other words, the paradigm enabled us to examine whether it is crucial that an individual create an item, or whether the mere belief in being instrumental in its creation is sufficient for overvaluation to take place, even when that belief is in fact false. In a second study (Experiment 2, Figure 2) we tested if beliefs of creation cause overvaluation by actively manipulating participants’ beliefs instead of eliciting them.


How beliefs about self-creation inflate value in the human brain.

Koster R, Sharot T, Yuan R, De Martino B, Norton MI, Dolan RJ - Front Hum Neurosci (2015)

Paradigm Experiment 1. (A) Session 1 (pre-manipulation) was conducted in the fMRI scanner. On each of the 80 trials participants were presented with an image of a different Converse shoe and asked to key in their suggested retail price for that shoe using a button box. (B) Session 2 (manipulation session) was performed on a computer outside the scanner. There were 40 create trials interleaved with 40 watch trials. On each create trial participants were given specific instructions for creating one of the shoes presented in Session 1 (i.e., no customization allowed). The instructions were given as a series of colors and patterns that indicated which color/pattern was to be chosen for each part of the shoe (there were nine parts including laces, outer body, heel, etc.). The participants created the shoe on the Converse website (they were trained on creating shoes before they began) and clicked “save” when they were finished. On watch trials they viewed a video that portrayed the shoe being created on the website. To make sure they attended, at the end of each watch trial they indicated whether a “tag” button was clicked on the video. (C) Session 3 (post manipulation) was identical to Session 1, except that participants were also asked to indicate if they created the shoe in the previous session, watched it being created, or did not know.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4559656&req=5

Figure 1: Paradigm Experiment 1. (A) Session 1 (pre-manipulation) was conducted in the fMRI scanner. On each of the 80 trials participants were presented with an image of a different Converse shoe and asked to key in their suggested retail price for that shoe using a button box. (B) Session 2 (manipulation session) was performed on a computer outside the scanner. There were 40 create trials interleaved with 40 watch trials. On each create trial participants were given specific instructions for creating one of the shoes presented in Session 1 (i.e., no customization allowed). The instructions were given as a series of colors and patterns that indicated which color/pattern was to be chosen for each part of the shoe (there were nine parts including laces, outer body, heel, etc.). The participants created the shoe on the Converse website (they were trained on creating shoes before they began) and clicked “save” when they were finished. On watch trials they viewed a video that portrayed the shoe being created on the website. To make sure they attended, at the end of each watch trial they indicated whether a “tag” button was clicked on the video. (C) Session 3 (post manipulation) was identical to Session 1, except that participants were also asked to indicate if they created the shoe in the previous session, watched it being created, or did not know.
Mentions: To investigate how beliefs of self-creation are integrated into evaluation of items, we combined fMRI with a novel task in which participants evaluated 80 items before and after creating these pre-designed objects or watching the objects being created (Experiment 1, Figure 1). As the objects were pre-designed (equivalent to IKEA furniture) subjects could not design items according to their own preference. We included a large number of objects in our task so that subsequently participants would frequently hold false beliefs in regards to which items they created themselves and which they merely watched being created. This allowed us to dissociate the effect of creating an object from the mere belief in having created an object on changes in subjective value and brain activity. In other words, the paradigm enabled us to examine whether it is crucial that an individual create an item, or whether the mere belief in being instrumental in its creation is sufficient for overvaluation to take place, even when that belief is in fact false. In a second study (Experiment 2, Figure 2) we tested if beliefs of creation cause overvaluation by actively manipulating participants’ beliefs instead of eliciting them.

Bottom Line: Understanding how these errors in judgement emerge is important for explaining suboptimal decisions, as when individuals and groups choose self-created alternatives over superior or equal ones.Using brain imaging data we highlight the brain processes mediating an interaction between value and belief of self-creation.Our study highlights psychological and neurobiological processes through which false beliefs alter human valuation and in doing so throw light on a common source of error in judgements of value.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London London, UK ; Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, Institute of Neurology, University College London London, UK.

ABSTRACT
Humans have a tendency to overvalue their own ideas and creations. Understanding how these errors in judgement emerge is important for explaining suboptimal decisions, as when individuals and groups choose self-created alternatives over superior or equal ones. We show that such overvaluation is a reconstructive process that emerges when participants believe they have created an item, regardless of whether this belief is true or false. This overvaluation is observed both when false beliefs of self-creation are elicited (Experiment 1) or implanted (Experiment 2). Using brain imaging data we highlight the brain processes mediating an interaction between value and belief of self-creation. Specifically, following the creation manipulation there is an increased functional connectivity during valuation between the right caudate nucleus, where we show BOLD activity correlated with subjective value, and the left amygdala, where we show BOLD activity is linked to subjective belief. Our study highlights psychological and neurobiological processes through which false beliefs alter human valuation and in doing so throw light on a common source of error in judgements of value.

No MeSH data available.