Emotional-motivational responses predicting choices: The role of asymmetrical frontal cortical activity


Ravaja N., Korhonen P., Koksalan M., Lipsanen J., Salminen M., Somervuori O., ...More

JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC PSYCHOLOGY, vol.52, pp.56-70, 2016 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 52
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.joep.2015.11.007
  • Journal Name: JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC PSYCHOLOGY
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.56-70
  • Keywords: Choice behavior, Emotion, Endowment effect, Neurophysiology, Frontal asymmetry, EEG ASYMMETRY, WORKING-MEMORY, BRAIN ASYMMETRY, PROSPECT-THEORY, LOSS AVERSION, BEHAVIORAL-INHIBITION, BIOLOGICAL SUBSTRATE, PREFRONTAL CORTEX, ALPHA, DECISION

Abstract

We examined (a) how emotional attachment to a choice option as indexed by state-related changes in electroencephalographic (EEG) asymmetry over the prefrontal cortex and electrodermal activity predicts choices and mediates the endowment effect and (b) the emotional-motivational responses to trade-off choices. Thirty-eight participants made choices between three 4-product packages, in which the frequency of each of the products varied. Greater relative left frontal activation and high peak skin conductance level (SCL) elicited by a previously selected choice option predicted a stronger endowment effect, suggesting that approach motivation and emotional attachment mediate the endowment effect. Not selecting a choice option with high emotional attachment elicited relatively greater right hemisphere activation, supporting also the role of loss aversion in the endowment effect. In addition, high trade-off difficulty was associated with increased withdrawal motivation (or less approach motivation) and negatively valenced arousal. We conclude with a discussion of practical implications of our findings. (C) 2016 Published by Elsevier B.V.