We are more selfish than we think: The endowment effect and reward processing within the human medial-frontal cortex

Cameron D. Hassall*, Amy Silver, David J Turk, Olave E. Krigolson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
285 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Perceived ownership has been shown to impact a variety of cognitive processes: attention, memory, and—more recently—reward processing. In the present experiment we examined whether or not perceived ownership would interact with the construct of value—the relative worth of an object. Participants completed a simple gambling game in which they gambled either for themselves or for another while electroencephalographic data were recorded. In a key manipulation, gambles for oneself or for another were for either small or large rewards. We tested the hypothesis that value affects the neural response to self-gamble outcomes, but not other-gamble outcomes. Our experimental data revealed that while participants learned the correct response option for both self and other gambles, the reward positivity evoked by wins was impacted by value only when gambling for oneself. Importantly, our findings provide additional evidence for a self-ownership bias in cognitive processing and further demonstrate the insensitivity of the medial-frontal reward system to gambles for another.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1676-1686
Number of pages11
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Volume69
Issue number9
Early online date23 Nov 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2016

Structured keywords

  • Cognitive Science

Keywords

  • FRN
  • Medial-frontal cortex
  • Ownership
  • Reward evaluation
  • Reward positivity

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