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October 06, 2003

Comments

Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see how this experiment justifies putting money in the utility function. Economists assume that people want money for what it can buy. How does this experiment invalidate that?

Money is the most powerful secondary reinforcer to humans living in modern societies. One can purchase any primary reinforcer with money, be it food, drink, sex or drugs. The human brain has learned to form these associations from its first visit to a supermarket when she saw mommy buy her a chocolate bar using ... money. Various recent neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that neurons in brain reward systems respond to money (one of them mentioned above). Surely, it is only a secondary reinforcer by virtue of its association with primary reinforcers, but these associations are very strong due to the omnipresence of money in our society. Furthermore, money has the same relative value for all humans, regardless of their preferences.

great joy being here..good place.

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