Pushing the Frontiers of Decision Making Neuroscience to Help Consumers Adopt Healthy Lifestyle in Our Modern Society of Plenty

Pushing the frontiers of decision making neuroscience

to help consumers adopt healthy lifestyle in our modern society of plenty




Laurette Dube, Faculty of Management, McGill University

Antoine Bechara, Department of Neurology, University of Iowa



Discussant leader


            Barbara Mellers, Haas School of Business, University of California Berkeley



Using cognitive models to map relations between neuropsychological processes and human decision making deficits leading to maladaptive risk-taking behavior


Jerome Busemeyer, Julie C. Stout, and Eldad Yechiam

Department of Psychology, Indiana University


Findings from a complex decision making task (the Iowa gambling task) show that individuals with neuropsychological disorders have decision making deficits leading to maladaptive risk-taking behavior. We present cognitive model which distills gambling performance into three different psychological components: the relative impact of rewards and punishments on evaluations; the rate that the contingent payoffs are learned; and the consistency between learning and responding. Several studies are analyzed to estimate parameters for each psychological component and analyses their relative contribution to decision making deficit in different pathologies. The potential of cognitive models for building bridges between neuroscience and consumer decision making and behavior in healthy populations is discussed.


Dynamics and temporal dimensions of cognitive-affective

integrative processes and underlying decision making


Lesley, K. Fellows, Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, McGill University,  Montreal Neurological Institute

Martha J. Farah, Center for cognitive neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania


Using an affective shifting task, the first study demonstrates the role played by orbitofrontal context in reversal learning, i.e., in flexibility in decision making over time, as the reinforcement value of stimuli change.  The second study contrasts the role of dorsolateral and ventromedial frontal lobe on two distinct aspects of future thinking, namely temporal discounting, i.e., the subjective devaluation of reward as a function of delay and time perspective, i.e., the length of an individual’s self-defined future. Results show that temporal discounting is not affected by frontal lobe injury, while time perspective depends on the ventromedial frontal lobe. Results are discussed in terms of insights they may suggest for more adaptive health-related lifestyle decisions. 


Linking neuropsychological decision making processes to everyday health-risk behaviors: The moderating role of individual sensitivity to reward and punishment


Laurette Dube, Remi Desmeules, Lu Ji, Zhenfang Ma, Aida Faber, Faculty of Management, McGill University

Antoine Bechara,  Department of Neurology, University of Iowa


148 healthy women performed a go/no go affective shifting task to assess impulse control and the Iowa gambling task to assess decision making under uncertainty. These two neuropsychological tests may capture some of the neural bases of health-related lifestyle decision making.  These women also enrolled in an experience sampling study (average of 60 observations/participant) to report exercise, eating, cigarette and alcohol consumption.  Performance and theoretical parameters (signal detection for impulse control and cognitive modeling for decision making) were computed for each participant. We report results on the relationship between these and everyday lifestyle behaviors. We discuss the contribution and limitation of a neuropsychological approach to lifestyle behaviors and insights it suggests for consumer research and marketing practice.


Session Chair: Laurette Dube and Discussion Leader: Barbara Mellers (2006) ,"Pushing the Frontiers of Decision Making Neuroscience to Help Consumers Adopt Healthy Lifestyle in Our Modern Society of Plenty", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 33, eds. Connie Pechmann and Linda Price, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 636-637.


Session Chair: Laurette Dube, McGill University
Discussion Leader: Barbara Mellers, University of California, Berkeley


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 33 | 2006

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