Faculty & Research

Seminars

Marketing Seminar (2020-01)

Topic: Decomposing loss aversion from gaze allocation and pupil dilation

Speaker: Feng Sheng, Postdoctoral Researcher, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Time: Friday, 05 June, 10:00-11:30

Location: Teams Online SeminarJoin the Meeting

Abstract:

Loss-averse decisions, in which one avoids losses at the expense of gains, are highly prevalent. However, the underlying mechanisms remain controversial. The prevailing account highlights a valuation bias that overweighs losses relative to gains, but an alternative view stresses a response bias to avoid choices involving potential losses. Here we couple a computational process model with eye-tracking and pupillometry to develop a physiologically grounded framework for the decision process leading to accepting or rejecting gambles with equal odds of winning and losing money. Overall, loss-averse decisions were accompanied by preferential gaze toward losses and increased pupil dilation for accepting gambles. Using our model, we found gaze allocation selectively indexed valuation bias, and pupil dilation selectively indexed response bias. Finally, we demonstrate that our computational model and physiological biomarkers can identify distinct types of loss-averse decision makers who would otherwise be indistinguishable using conventional approaches. Our study provides an integrative framework for the cognitive processes that drive loss-averse decisions and highlights the biological heterogeneity of loss aversion across individuals.

Introduction:

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Feng Sheng is a Postdoctoral Researcher at Marketing Department of the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He is also a member of Wharton Neuroscience Initiative. He obtained his Ph.D. in Marketing and M.S. in Psychology from Peking University. He is broadly interested in the neurocognitive processes that underpin consumer behaviors related to branding, advertising and financial decision making. To study these hidden processes, he integrates ideas from neuroscience, psychology and economics, and combines a variety of tools including brain imaging, eye-tracking and computational modeling. His research has appeared on Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Cerebral Cortex, NeuroImage, Biological Psychology,营销科学学报and心理学报。

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