【Micro Seminar】Attention Theory, Soft and Hard

  • 研討會日期 : 2023-06-20
  • 時間 : 14:30
  • 主講人 : Professor Chew Soo Hong
  • 地點 : Conference Room B110
  • 演講者簡介 : Professor Chew Soo Hong received his Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia in 1981. He is currently a Professor at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics. His research interests are decision theory, behavioral, biological and experimental economics, and decision genomics.
  • 演講摘要 : The human brain, consuming a mere 20 watts, is miserly in minimizing energy expenditure constantly and unconsciously, giving rise to a volatile and context-sensitive attentional process. This talk builds on both "soft" modeling based on revealed choice and "hard" modeling which seeks additionally biological accuracy. In the soft attention theory (SAT) model, the generally varying utility of a lottery emerges from potentially volatile decision weights. In binary choice, SAT always exhibits EU-conforming behavior in the correlated Allais common-consequence problem if and only if attention is symmetric, which coincides formally with Regret Theory and Salience Theory. We further offer a hard attention theory (HAT) model through a quartet of neurotransmitters--dopamine (DA), serotonin (5HT), acetylcholine (ACh), and norepinephrine (NE). Building on the application of DA and 5HT tones to model the loss-gain differentiation in risk attitude (Zhong et al., 2009), we hypothesize that ACh and NE tones modulate respectively the top-down and bottom-up components of the attention function in SAT. This yields predictions which are tested in a preregistered placebo-controlled RCT experiment using nicotine (ACh agonist) and Ventolin (NE agonist) to manipulate top-down attention and bottom-up salience. Preliminary findings from testing HAT will be discussed.