A scarcity mindset alters neural processing underlying consumer decision making

Journal article


Huijsmans, I, Ma, I, Micheli, L, Civai, C, Stallen, M and G Sanfey, A (2019). A scarcity mindset alters neural processing underlying consumer decision making. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1818572116
AuthorsHuijsmans, I, Ma, I, Micheli, L, Civai, C, Stallen, M and G Sanfey, A
Abstract

Not having enough of what one needs has long been shown to have detrimental consequences for decision making. Recent work suggests that the experience of insufficient resources can create a "scarcity" mindset; increasing attention toward the scarce resource itself, but at the cost of attention for unrelated aspects. To investigate the effects of a scarcity mindset on consumer choice behavior, as well as its underlying neural mechanisms, we used an experimental manipulation to induce both a scarcity and an abundance mindset within participants and examined the effects of both mindsets on participants' willingness to pay for familiar food items while being scanned using fMRI. Results demonstrated that a scarcity mindset affects neural mechanisms related to consumer decision making. When in a scarcity mindset compared with an abundance mindset, participants had increased activity in the orbitofrontal cortex, a region often implicated in valuation processes. Moreover, again compared with abundance, a scarcity mindset decreased activity in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, an area well known for its role in goal-directed choice. This effect was predominant in the group of participants who experienced scarcity following abundance, suggesting that the effects of scarcity are largest when they are compared with previous situations when resources were plentiful. More broadly, these data suggest a potential neural locus for a scarcity mindset and demonstrate how these changes in brain activity might underlie goal-directed decision making.

Keywordsconsumer choice; fMRI; scarcity
Year2019
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
PublisherNational Academy of Sciences
ISSN0027-8424
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1818572116
https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1818572116/-/DCSupplemental
Web address (URL)https://www.pnas.org/content/116/24/11699
Publication dates
Print23 May 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited06 Jun 2019
Accepted26 Apr 2019
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Open
Permalink -

https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/86681

Download files


Accepted author manuscript
Huijsmans_etal_2019.pdf
License: CC BY-NC 4.0
File access level: Open

  • 67
    total views
  • 30
    total downloads
  • 5
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month

Export as

Related outputs

Does unfairness sound wrong? A cross-domain investigation of expectations in music and social decision-making
Civai, C, Teodorini, R and Carrus, E (2020). Does unfairness sound wrong? A cross-domain investigation of expectations in music and social decision-making. Royal Society Open Science. 7 (9). https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.190048
Mentalizing in value-based social decision-making: shaping expectations and social norms
Civai, C and Sanfey, A (2019). Mentalizing in value-based social decision-making: shaping expectations and social norms. in: Gilead, M and Ochsner, K (ed.) The Neural Basis of Mentalizing - A Social-Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Perspective Springer.
Neurocognitive mechanisms of reactions to second- and third-party justice violations.
Civai, C, Huijsmans, I and Sanfey, A (2019). Neurocognitive mechanisms of reactions to second- and third-party justice violations. Scientific Reports. 9. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-45725-8
Effects of serotonin depletion and dopamine depletion on bimodal divided attention.
Königschulte, W, Civai, C, Hildebrand, P, Gaber, TJ, Fink, GR and Zepf, FD (2018). Effects of serotonin depletion and dopamine depletion on bimodal divided attention. World Journal of Biological Psychiatry. https://doi.org/10.1080/15622975.2018.1532110
Game Theory in Neuroeconomics
Civai, C and Hawes, DR (2016). Game Theory in Neuroeconomics. in: Reuter, M and Montag, C (ed.) Neuroeconomics Springer. pp. 13-40
The Enhancement of Social Norm Compliance: Prospects and Caveats
Civai, C and Ma, I (2017). The Enhancement of Social Norm Compliance: Prospects and Caveats. Journal of Cognitive Enhancement. 1 (1), pp. 26-30. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41465-017-0009-4
Intelligence and Extraversion in the neural evaluation of delayed rewards
Civai, C, Hawes, DR, DeYoung, CG and Rustichini, A (2016). Intelligence and Extraversion in the neural evaluation of delayed rewards. Journal of Research in Personality. 61, pp. 99-108. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2016.02.006
Predicting the other in cooperative interactions.
Sanfey, AG, Civai, C and Vavra, P (2015). Predicting the other in cooperative interactions. Trends in cognitive sciences. 19 (7), pp. 364-365. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2015.05.009
Medial prefrontal cortex reacts to unfairness if this damages the self: a tDCS study.
Civai, C, Miniussi, C and Rumiati, RI (2014). Medial prefrontal cortex reacts to unfairness if this damages the self: a tDCS study. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. 10 (8), pp. 1054-1060. https://doi.org/10.1093/scan/nsu154
Rejecting unfairness: emotion-driven reaction or cognitive heuristic?
Civai, C (2013). Rejecting unfairness: emotion-driven reaction or cognitive heuristic? Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 7, p. 126. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2013.00126
Framing the ultimatum game: the contribution of simulation.
Tomasino, B, Lotto, L, Sarlo, M, Civai, C, Rumiati, R and Rumiati, RI (2013). Framing the ultimatum game: the contribution of simulation. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 7, p. 337. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2013.00337