To Steven Quartz & Colin Camerer the brain is a huge number-cruncher, assigning a numeric value to everything from a loaf of bread to our most deeply held moral “values.” In that sense, moral decisions are also economic ones. Using a brain scanner (fMRI), they want to catch the brain in the act—to see what it’s doing at exactly the moment a tough moral decision gets made. Their research is pioneering a new branch of neuroscience — neuroeconomics.
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To review a sample of related Situationist posts, see “The Legal Brain,” “Read My Brain – From Science Friday,” “The Situation of Neuroeconomics and Situationist Economics,” and “The Interior Situational Reaction to Inequality.”