I am in a group that is studying cooperation ... or at least we're talking about it a lot. This Businessweek Article recently came up for conversation.
In essence it is saying, or confirming, that strict behavioral models of economics or anything else having to do with people need to be tempered by the understanding that we're still flesh and blood. By golly, research indicates that we are human!
The article states:
A key tenet of standard economics is that making people happy is a simple matter of giving them more of what they like. But neuroscience shows that's not true. The brain's striatum quickly gets used to new stimuli and expects them to continue. People are on a treadmill in which only unexpected pleasures can make them happier. That explains why happiness of people in rich countries hasn't increased despite higher living standards.
Yes, that explains it.
Deeper than that, however, is the assumption that human beings respond only the the stimulii of goods and services and this stimulii was somehow easily measurable.
T = Big Screen Television Width
P = Delivered Pizza Diameter
B = Barcolounger Max Recline Angle
H = Happiness Valuation
How can you possibly be unhappy with a happiness valuation of 1672? Do you need a bigger pizza?
There are many obvious and observable phenomena that human beings engage in daily that are not proven by science. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that they came up with a way to measure people's reactions to being insulted while getting an MRI done. And this likely will be useful scientific-anecdotal information to toss into a conversation somewhere. I'm glad someone did it.