An Emotional Conversation over at Tyler Cowen’s Marginal Revolution blog

One of our ever-detailed assistants Sandy noticed yesterday that Marginal Revolution ran a piece about last week’s FT article on me and in fact included a link to the first popular article I ever wrote. I would have preferred a link to Radical Neuroeconomics on but hey, live in the public eye – risk the public eye! Plus, given that article’s title, the characterization that I have an “attachment to Freud” is understandable even if not quite the whole picture.

My actual attachment is to the idea that the human unconscious plays an enormous role in all decision making and an even more specific role in risk decisions. As Freud was the first to really bring this idea to the public, I must credit him with that. There are glimmers of it in Shakespeare and earlier writings but no one before Freud is considered the father of the idea. (Additionally, I personally credit MODERN psychoanalysis and Dr. Hyman Spotnitz for my individual victory over the world of market demons but that is another story altogether.)

Today’s neuroscience of emotion, (see this post) neuroeconomics and even neuropsychoanalysis is revolutionizing our understanding of the brain literally with every passing day. While we still have a long way to go (think Christopher Columbus’ map to what would be “America”), we know orders of magnitude more than we knew a decade ago.

For example, did you know that essentially the old triune idea of the brain is out or that it appears we need functional EMOTIONAL neural networks for our visual cortex to work? Furthermore, did you know that your brain will see the market much more like a jigsaw puzzle in which 1/3 of the pieces are missing – and it will fill in the blanks through referring to context. How often does context change in a market? (I.e. what does Dow 10K mean in 2009 vs. 2008?).

I could go on – but alas won’t. I will invite anyone interested in the new psychology of risk to wander around here. Hopefully you will find a thing or two that gets you started on the path to ReThinking Thinking.

Somewhere down the road, you just might find you agree with more than you expected. Or worse, learned a thing or two about making better decisions in the face of UOUP (rhymes with soup) – uncertain outcomes uncertain probabilities.

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