Poster B105, Sunday, March 25, 8:00-10:00 am, Exhibit Hall C
The Neural Underpinnings of Projection Bias
Roni Setton1, Geoffrey Fisher2, R. Nathan Spreng1; 1McGill University, 2Cornell University
In the last decade, the ability to imagine the future, or prospection, has been extensively investigated. However, individuals are rather poor at making accurate predictions. One explanation for this is provided by the behavioral economics literature as “projection bias,” the tendency to inaccurately predict the value of goods to be acquired in the future. In the present study, we examined how value changes from imagining a future event to the realization of that event, in both brain and behavior. Twenty-five adults placed bids on a variety of snack foods while undergoing fMRI scanning across two sessions: once while hungry and once while satiated three days later. While hungry, participants placed bids according to how much they would pay for snack items in an imagined future hungry state or in an imagined future satiated state. In the second session while satiated, participants placed bids according to how much they would pay for the items immediately after the experiment. We hypothesized that participants would bid higher for foods when they were hungry compared to when they were sated, and critically, that bids made while imagining a sated state would exceed those made while actually sated. This projection bias was associated with activity in the ventral striatum, suggesting that greater engagement of ventral striatum, related to reward processing, influences prospection about the value of future events. The present study demonstrates how rewards may interact with a motivational state, such as hunger, and influence prospection as a source of bias.
Topic Area: THINKING: Decision making