Cognitive Thrift 11 – Neuroeconomics

In-Sight Publishing

Cognitive Thrift 11 – Neuroeconomics

Scott Douglas Jacobsen & Rick Rosner

May 21, 2017

[Beginning of recorded material]

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: It is differentiated from neuroeconomics, which looks at decision-making in general with regards to economics in addition to the brain basis of that behaviour. For instance, one researcher, Paul Zak, isolated oxytocin as the bonding hormone and applies this to various areas, but that’s far apart from this. It does not get that technical, but does provide some thought experiments with respect to having a brain and how that might turn out with the standard perspective of an evolutionary perspective.

Rick Rosner: Yea – now, also, there’s a different set of considerations or costs, where because we evolved organisms. Our brains don’t always tell us the pure unadulterated truth. There are the issues with Plato’s Cave, just the limitations of perception and there are some built-in biases. And when you look at matters of faith, there are a complete set of possible faith-based cognitive biases, where evolution wants – we are most effective as reproducing organisms when we’re in certain emotional states.

Evolution, as evolved beings we are most effective when attentive, because inattentive beings in a dangerous, complicated world get killed due to error. By shorthand, we can talk about what evolution wants us to be, but keeping in mind that that’s a teleological statement and evolution is not teleological.

Evolution does not really want anything, but just for shorthand we are most evolutionarily effective when we have certain attitudes and those attitudes might be optimistic and happy but not so happy. If an entire species were just happy regardless of situation, that species would be too complacent to be effective at continuing itself. You can see that in people’s lives in the stories that we follow.

The story ends at happily ever after, which is fine but nobody is happy throughout the story. People go through periods of being miserable, and being happy for a second, and there’s just turn arounds in the plot. You can’t be happy all the time because then you’re not motivated to take on the tasks that evolution wants us to take on.

[End of recorded material]



Rick Rosner

American Television Writer


Rick Rosner


Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing


In-Sight Publishing


[1] Four format points for the session article:

  1. Bold text following “Scott Douglas Jacobsen:” or “Jacobsen:” is Scott Douglas Jacobsen & non-bold text following “Rick Rosner:” or “Rosner:” is Rick Rosner.
  2. Session article conducted, transcribed, edited, formatted, and published by Scott.
  3. Footnotes & in-text citations in the interview & references after the interview.
  4. This session article has been edited for clarity and readability.

For further information on the formatting guidelines incorporated into this document, please see the following documents:

  1. American Psychological Association. (2010). Citation Guide: APA. Retrieved from
  2. Humble, A. (n.d.). Guide to Transcribing. Retrieved from

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© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, Rick Rosner, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, Rick Rosner, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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