The Effect of Happiness on Social and Economic Decision-Making Utility
Archives of Advances in Biosciences,
Vol. 11 No. 2 (2020),
16 May 2020
Neuroeconomics is a field of study that brings together economics, psychology and neuroscience. Human economic and rational decision making is affected by mood and feelings like happiness, sadness, etc. In the current study, effects of happiness in economic decision making was examined, using the Prisoner’s Dilemma game.
Materials and Methods: Male participants were chosen for each group based on self-rating about their feeling of happiness in life, followed by Oxford Happiness Questionnaire. Two groups were considered: group one who felt happy and group two who did not feel happy. The ability of making rational decision was examined in Prisoner’s Dilemma game. Two players simultaneously decide their strategy: betray the other by testifying that the other committed the crime, or cooperate with the other by remaining silent.
Results: The influence of feeling happy on social and economic decision-making was detected in two different groups; the percentage of cooperation in the group which did not feel happy (group two) was 1.5 fold (***P<0.001) which was more than other group. This data manifests non-rational decision making in group two (unhappy) compared to group one.
Conclusion: The main finding of the present study is the significant relationship between happiness and economic decision making. Game theory paradigms suggested that cooperation is not considered as a rational decision. Current data shows that cooperative choices were significantly more in the group which was not happy, showing the effect of happiness in rational decision making.
- Decision making
- Economic decision utility
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