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Home | Events Archive | Boredom and Flow: An Opportunity Cost Theory of Attention-Directing Motivational States
Seminar

Boredom and Flow: An Opportunity Cost Theory of Attention-Directing Motivational States


  • Series
    CREED Seminars
  • Speaker(s)
    George Loewenstein (Carnegie Mellon University, United States)
  • Field
    Behavioral Economics
  • Location
    University of Amsterdam, Room E0.15
    Amsterdam
  • Date and time

    June 09, 2022
    16:00 - 17:15

Abstract. We argue that the motivational states of boredom and flow help individuals to efficiently allocate attention---a scarce cognitive resource---by encoding information about the opportunity cost of maintaining attention in a hedonic signal. We develop a dual-self model in which one self (the executive) makes the final decision about how to allocate attention, but expends attention to do so, while the other self (the advisor) biases this decision with a hedonic signal that does not use attention. The resulting utility specification makes novel behavioral predictions, has important implications for welfare analysis, and provides a unified explanation of existing empirical evidence.