Neuroeconomics of Prosocial Behavior

Neuroeconomics of Prosocial Behavior : The Compassionate Egoist

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This summary of recent research in neuroeconomics aims to explain how and why a person can sometimes be generous, helpful, and cooperative, yet other times behave in a self-interested and/or exploitative manner. The book explains a dual process of analysis measuring immediate needs of the individual, relative to long term gains possible through prosocial behavior (e.g. synergy, accumulating profits, (in)direct reciprocity) with the output further mitigated by the motivation of the individual at that moment and any special circumstances of the environment. Ultimately it can be shown that prosocial behavior can be economically rational. Yet even when individuals are intrinsically motivated to act prosocially, they are also able to reverse this behavior when they sense it is no longer adaptive.

The book will further explore individual differences in prosocial behavior, the development of prosocial behavior, and how a personal neural signature forms that facilitates or hampers cooperation. The book includes game theory research, neuroimaging studies, and research in traditional cognitive psychology to better understand human decision-making re prosocial behavior. This will be of interest to cognitive, developmental, and social psychologists, as well as neuroscientists, and behavioral economists.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 186 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 12.7mm | 505g
  • Academic Press Inc
  • San Diego, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0128013036
  • 9780128013038

Table of contents

Chapter 1 - Two Routes to Cooperation Chapter 2 - The Neuroanatomy of Prosocial Decision Making: The Role of Valuation, Cognitive Control and Social Cognition Chapter 3 - Neurochemistry of Prosocial Decision Making: The Role of Dopamine, Serotonin, and Oxytocin Chapter 4 - Individual Differences in Prosocial Decision Making: Social Values as a Compass Chapter 5 - Beyond Parochialism: Cooperation Across the Globe
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About Carolyn Declerck

Carolyn Declerck is currently a professor at the Department of Economic Sciences at the University of Antwerp where she teaches psychology and conducts research on cooperation and social dilemmas. C. Declerck obtained her PhD in Ecology at the University of California Davis (1991) and subsequently taught various classes in ecology and biodiversity at Portland State University, Oregon (1992-1998). She conducted post-doctoral research in the neuroscience of choice behavior and economic decision making at the University of Antwerp (1999-2006) and joined the Faculty there in 2006. Together with Christophe Boone they started a research program in neuroeconomics where they and their graduate students combine principles of psychology, behavioral economics, and the tools of neurosciences to try to unravel the different motives underlying social decision-making. Carolyn Declerck is also the author of a Dutch book (Who is the Homo economics?, Leuven: ACCO Press) with the purpose of introducing the principles of psychology to undergraduate students in Economic Sciences. Christophe Boone is a full professor of Organization Theory and Behavior at the Faculty of Applied Economics of the University of Antwerp (Belgium). Before that he was full-time faculty at the Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE) of Maastricht University, The Netherlands (1992-2001). He held a honorary chair in Organization Theory at the University of Groningen (2005-2006). Recently, he was nominated as a fellow extra muros at the GSBE of Maastricht University (2014-2017). He is co-founder of the Antwerp Centre of Evolutionary demography (ACED), an international and interdisciplinary research institute established at the University of Antwerp in 2007 dedicated to the study of the antecedents and consequences of diversity in the realm of teams, organizations, industries and communities. Christophe Boone is an interdisciplinary social scientist with research interests that currently focus on the dynamics of organizational populations in local communities, the antecedents and consequences of team and organizational diversity, CEO values and cognition, and the neuroeconomics of decision making.
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