Action in auctions: neural and computational mechanisms of bidding behaviour
Competition for resources is a fundamental characteristic of evolution. Auctions have been widely used to model competition of individuals for resources, and bidding behaviour plays a major role in social competition. Yet, how humans learn to bid efficiently remains an open question. We used model‐based neuroimaging to investigate the neural mechanisms of bidding behaviour under different types of competition. Twenty‐seven subjects (nine male) played a prototypical bidding game: a double action, with three “market” types, which differed in the number of competitors. We compared different computational learning models of bidding: directional learning models (DL), where the model bid is “nudged” depending on whether it was accepted or rejected, along with standard reinforcement learning models (RL). We found that DL fit the behaviour best and resulted in higher payoffs. We found the binary learning signal associated with DL to be represented by neural activity in the striatum distinctly posterior to a weaker reward prediction error signal. We posited that DL is an efficient heuristic for valuation when the action (bid) space is continuous. Indeed, we found that the posterior parietal cortex represents the continuous action space of the task, and the frontopolar prefrontal cortex distinguishes among conditions of social competition. Based on our findings, we proposed a conceptual model that accounts for a sequence of processes that are required to perform successful and flexible bidding under different types of competition.
The concept of thought has always been central to understanding the nature of human thinking in psychological studies. However, the main question of what is thought still remains unanswered. The origins of the issue lie in the definition of the original unit of analysis, i.e. in the definition of what lies at the heart of image, belief, imagination, speech, consciousness, and thinking. Based on available studies, results of which were reflected in recent publications, it was argued that thought should be such an original unit of analysis. This article explores the concept of thought based on cognitive constructs and the neurophysiological correlates of mental activity. The present study is addressed to discuss issues dealing with the nature of thought, its content and structure, and the relationships between indicators of substantial thought and the neurobiological correlates of the process of thinking. Structurally thought is based on needs, emotions and intensions, and as such, thought defines the substantive essence of an image and also represents consciousness. Coherence of thoughts and consciousness, their integrity reflect the connectivity of things from the external world in their entirety. Thus, the ability to generate thoughts and build relationships within the stream of consciousness characterizes the human mind. It is shown that thought as a cognitive substance emerges from desires and experiences, as well as from conscious perception. Taken together, the described psychological and neurophysiological assumptions open up new horizons for research into human mental activity, thinking abilities and consciousness.
Germany was the first country in Europe that auctioned off spectrum in the valuable 700 MHz band for mobile telecommunication usage. The German regulator decided to sell this spectrum together with spectrum in the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz legacy bands. With only the three incumbent operators bidding in the auction and a relatively transparent auction design, it was possible to get a very clear impression of the actual bidding behaviour. We show that in the beginning of the auction, bidders were actively searching for a way to allocate the available spectrum that all bidders could agree to at low prices. Bidders were teaching each other what they should bid and were providing carrots and sticks. When the excess demand was concentrated in one band only, bidders started to compete head on leading to a war of attrition. This competition only stopped when bidders started to raise prices in bands that were already cleared. We interpret this bidding behaviour in terms of bidders expressing allocative externalities and conclude that the ability to do so may be regarded as a positive aspect of the transparent design.
This study is devoted to different types of students’ behavior before they drop an adaptive course. The Adaptive Python course at the Stepik educational platform was selected as the case for this study. Student behavior was measured by the following variables: number of attempts for the last lesson, last three lessons solving rate, the logarithm of normed solving time, the percentage of easy and difficult lessons, the number of passed lessons, and total solving time. We applied a standard clustering technique, K-means, to identify student behavior patterns. To determine optimal number of clusters, the silhouette metrics was used. As the result, three types of dropout were identified: “solved lessons”, “evaluated lessons as hard’’, and “evaluated lessons as easy”.
This article is devoted to the issue of developing adaptive learning systems for vocational education and training (VET). Firstly, it justifies the urgency of developing and using personalized adaptive learning in vocational educational organizations. Specific features of the Russian VET system and its students are described, demonstrating a number of arguments for the importance of a search for new digital educational solutions. Secondly, the paper elaborates on the theoretical framework of personalization of vocational education and training, which takes into account the necessity for both skills and knowledge. Finally, the authors present a prototype of an adaptive educational system, which is based on ontologically-controlled management of learning trajectories. The developed software is aimed at improving the effectiveness of the VET material science curriculum.
In 2004–2005 the Russian government started to implement the reform of public procurement. In order to decrease incentives to corruption and encourage competition, they established new procurement procedures. Meanwhile, according to the anecdotal evidence, since the decade of the reform, diff erent types of rent-seeking behavior have been still widespread in Russian procurement. In this article we conduct a comparative analysis of the procurement procedures in Federal Law 44 depending on the risks of rent-seeking behavior of public procurers and suppliers. We consider restrictions of competition to be indicators of corruption risks, i.e. the procurer’s rent-seeking behavior, and collusive practices (including imitation of collusion) and adverse selection to be indicators of the bidder’s rent-seeking behavior. At fi rst we describe Russian procurement procedures and then we employ the case-study in order to analyze in-depth risks of various forms of rent-seeking behavior. We fi nd that the risks of procurers’ rent-seeking behavior are negatively connected to the risks of suppliers’ rent-seeking. Some procurement procedures have more corruption risks, while others provide ample opportunities for collusion practices or an adverse selection. Basing on these results, we make recommendations to the regulator and to the government. First, the stimulating eff ect of monitoring will be higher under fi xed monitoring costs, if the regulator monitors more probable forms of rentseeking in each procurement procedure. Second, the social welfare will be highest, if the choice of procurement procedure is based not only on the product’s characteristics, but also on the market structure, including the risks of horizontal collusion.
The field of neuroscience has considerably expanded in the last decades. Researchers have used neuroscientific techniques to study a wide range of phenomena in entrepreneurship, business, economics, and marketing fields. The purpose of this chapter is to provide in a single source an outlook on the state-of-the-art techniques in cognitive neuroscience useful to address questions within business and economics realms. Here we particularly focus on two groups of highly insightful and non-invasive techniques: electrophysiologics (EEG, MEG, ECG, EMG, EOG, eye tracking, and electrodermal activity) and behavioral genetics (twins studies, family studies, adopted studies, psychoneuroendocrinology). The techniques can complement more commonly used methodologies (such as fMRI) to provide a holistic picture of the phenomena under study. We further highlight the advantages and disadvantages of each technique and conclude providing examples of potential research questions that can be answered using each instrument.
The distractive effects on attentional task performance in different paradigms are analyzed in this paper. I demonstrate how distractors may negatively affect (interference effect), positively (redundancy effect) or neutrally (null effect). Distractor effects described in literature are classified in accordance with their hypothetical source. The general rule of the theory is also introduced. It contains the formal prediction of the particular distractor effect, based on entropy and redundancy measures from the mathematical theory of communication (Shannon, 1948). Single- vs dual-process frameworks are considered for hypothetical mechanisms which underpin the distractor effects. Distractor profiles (DPs) are also introduced for the formalization and simple visualization of experimental data concerning the distractor effects. Typical shapes of DPs and their interpretations are discussed with examples from three frequently cited experiments. Finally, the paper introduces hierarchical hypothesis that states the level-fashion modulating interrelations between distractor effects of different classes.
This article describes the expierence of studying factors influencing the social well-being of educational migrants as mesured by means of a psychological well-being scale (A. Perrudet-Badoux, G.A. Mendelsohn, J.Chiche, 1988) previously adapted for Russian by M.V. Sokolova. A statistical analysis of the scale's reliability is performed. Trends in dynamics of subjective well-being are indentified on the basis the correlations analysis between the condbtbions of adaptation and its success rate, and potential mechanisms for developing subjective well-being among student migrants living in student hostels are described. Particular attention is paid to commuting as a factor of adaptation.