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Embodied economics: how bodily information shapes the social coordination dynamics of decision-making

Oullier, Olivier and Basso, Frédéric (2010) Embodied economics: how bodily information shapes the social coordination dynamics of decision-making. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 365 (1538). pp. 291-301. ISSN 0962-8436

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Identification Number: 10.1098/rstb.2009.0168


To date, experiments in economics are restricted to situations in which individuals are not influenced by the physical presence of other people. In such contexts, interactions remain at an abstract level, agents guessing what another person is thinking or is about to decide based on money exchange. Physical presence and bodily signals are therefore left out of the picture. However, in real life, social interactions (involving economic decisions or not) are not solely determined by a person's inference about someone else's state-of-mind. In this essay, we argue for embodied economics: an approach to neuroeconomics that takes into account how information provided by the entire body and its coordination dynamics influences the way we make economic decisions. Considering the role of embodiment in economics—movements, posture, sensitivity to mimicry and every kind of information the body conveys—makes sense. This is what we claim in this essay which, to some extent, constitutes a plea to consider bodily interactions between agents in social (neuro)economics.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2009 The Royal Society
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2014 10:07
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2021 02:08

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