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De amygdala zorgen ervoor dat we voorzichtig zijn

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Geplaatst op 11 februari 2010 - 00:46

'Loss aversion' houdt in dat we niet kiezen voor iets waarbij we iets kunnen verliezen, zelfs als de kans op een (grotere) winst hoger is. Of, zoals Wikipedia het omschrijft:

loss aversion refers to people's tendency to strongly prefer avoiding losses to acquiring gains. Some studies suggest that losses are twice as powerful, psychologically, as gains.

Uit deze studie blijkt dat onze Amygdala (deeltje van de hersenen, de amandelvormige kern) instaan voor het gegeven dat we voorzichtig handelen en dus 'loss aversion' tegengaan.

Two patients with rare lesions to the brain have provided direct of evidence of how we make decisions -- and what makes us dislike the thought of losing money.
Loss aversion describes the avoidance of choices which can lead to losses, even when accompanied by equal or much larger gains. Examples in the everyday life include how we make a decision on whether to proceed with an operation: the more serious the potential complications from the operation -- even if the risk is low compared to the chances of success -- the less likely we would be to proceed.
The researchers studied two patients affected by a rare genetic condition which has led to the formation of lesions to the amygdala. These lesions prevent the patients from perceiving, recognising or feeling fear. For example, the patients can recognise all other emotions in a person's face, but if shown a fearful face they cannot say what emotion that person is experiencing.
"A fully-functioning amygdala appears to make us more cautious," explains Ralph Adolphs, the Bren Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience. "We already know that the amygdala is involved in processing fear, and it also appears to make us 'afraid' to risk losing money."
"It may be that the amygdala controls a very general biological mechanism for inhibiting risky behaviour when outcomes are potentially negative, such as the monetary loss aversion which shapes our everyday financial decisions," comments Dr De Martino, a visiting researcher from UCL (University College London).
"Loss aversion has been observed in many economic studies, from monkeys trading tokens for food to people on high-stakes game shows," adds Colin Camerer, the Robert Kirby Professor of Behavioral Economics, "but this is the first clear evidence of a special brain structure which is responsible for fear of those losses."...

uit: Wellcome Trust (2010, February 9). Brain location for fear of losing money pinpointed -- the amygdala. ScienceDaily.

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