Neuroforecasting Aggregate Choice

Curr Dir Psychol Sci. 2018 Apr;27(2):110-115. doi: 10.1177/0963721417737877. Epub 2018 Feb 28.


Advances in brain-imaging design and analysis have allowed investigators to use neural activity to predict individual choice, while emerging Internet markets have opened up new opportunities for forecasting aggregate choice. Here, we review emerging research that bridges these levels of analysis by attempting to use group neural activity to forecast aggregate choice. A survey of initial findings suggests that components of group neural activity might forecast aggregate choice, in some cases even beyond traditional behavioral measures. In addition to demonstrating the plausibility of neuroforecasting, these findings raise the possibility that not all neural processes that predict individual choice forecast aggregate choice to the same degree. We propose that although integrative choice components may confer more consistency within individuals, affective choice components may generalize more broadly across individuals to forecast aggregate choice.

Keywords: affect; fMRI; forecast; frontal; human; individual; market; predict; striatal.