Self-control separates us from our ancient ancestors and the rest of the animal kingdom, thanks to our large prefrontal cortices. Rather than responding to immediate impulses, we can plan, we can evaluate alternative actions, and we can refrain from doing things we'll regret.
Why do we often think we know what we want, only to be disappointed with our purchases and choices? Behavioral economics studies just how irrational we humans can be. Here's insight into the surprising ways in which our emotions and thought patterns guide us toward predictable economic decisions.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain's reward and pleasure centers. Dopamine also helps regulate movement and emotional responses, and it enables us not only to see rewards, but to take action to move toward them.