Experience, Price, and the Brain:

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It's been a while since I hit this topic, but it's about time we circled back to the awesome BLUEMiND2 conference that was held on the Outer Banks in early June.

You can find more info about the conference in our Blue Mind blog category or on our webpage dedicated to the Blue Mind event, but for this post, I want to focus on a specific talk from the BM2 conference; "The Ocean View Premium."

How much is the ocean view worth? And is it worth the added cost?

As I discussed in a recent post about planning an Outer Banks vacation, we understand the trials and tribulations that go into organizing a vacation. It's a thankless task, but someone needs to do it. :) One of the largest challenges for the planners is choosing the house, and a difficult aspect of that choice is location.

Should you go front row, oceanfront, or should you save a little money and be a little further from the beach?

We can always walk to the beach, right? And the money we save can be used in other ways - food, equipment rentals, souvenirs...maybe even a great new IPad to bring with us! Is this the right trade-off?

Oceanfront vacation rental homes can be expensive, but are they really worth the added costs? This was one of the questions we tried to tackle at the Blue Mind conference.

We recruited Gordon Jones, local OBX resident and President of Coldwell Banker Seaside Realty for 22 years, and Dr. Scott Huettel, a Duke University neuroscience professor to, dissect the "Ocean View Premium" from a practical, real estate perspective and a scientific mind/reward perspective. The results are not unexpected, but also very fascinating.

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Experience, Price, and the Brain:

  1. 1. Experience, Price, and the Brain:What is an Ocean View worth?Scott HuettelDuke University
  2. 2. Why do we value something? How do we trade off between different things we value?@ BLUEMiND, OBX Scott Huettel, Duke University
  3. 3. orAn easy sort of value judgment (consumer goods)… @ BLUEMiND, OBX Scott Huettel, Duke University
  4. 4. or … a harder sort of value judgment (aesthetic experiences)…@ BLUEMiND, OBX Scott Huettel, Duke University
  5. 5. or … the hardest sort of value judgment (trading experience against goods).@ BLUEMiND, OBX Scott Huettel, Duke University
  6. 6. Why do we value something? Decisions involving tradeoffs between goods (e.g., money) and experiences (e.g., a view) are difficult because they involve different value computations in the brain. How do we trade off between different things we value?@ BLUEMiND, OBX Scott Huettel, Duke University
  7. 7. Principle 1: We value information.@ BLUEMiND, OBX Scott Huettel, Duke University
  8. 8. @ BLUEMiND, OBX Scott Huettel, Duke University
  9. 9. We prefer imageswith intermediatecomplexity… … recognizable elements… … and positive associations. See Biederman & Vessel (2006, American Scientist) @ BLUEMiND, OBX Scott Huettel, Duke University
  10. 10. Principle 2: We value memories.@ BLUEMiND, OBX Scott Huettel, Duke University
  11. 11. FMRI activation to memory retrieval (without incentives) Ventral Striatum (reward evaluation) Rostral Prefrontal Cortex (prospection, planning) Han et al. (2010, Journal of Neuroscience)@ BLUEMiND, OBX Scott Huettel, Duke University
  12. 12. Principle 3: Goods can (and should) be traded for experiences.@ BLUEMiND, OBX Scott Huettel, Duke University
  13. 13. Brain Response vmPFC Trading Behavior Smith et al. (2010, Journal of Neuroscience)@ BLUEMiND, OBX Scott Huettel, Duke University
  14. 14. Relative HappinessCarter and Gilovich (2010) Van Boven and Gilovich (2003) @ BLUEMiND, OBX Scott Huettel, Duke University
  15. 15. Summary• Experiences carry value… • … by containing information. • … by generating memories.• Experiences can be obtained/traded for goods… • … through a “common currency” for value. • … with positive long-term consequences.@ BLUEMiND, OBX Scott Huettel, Duke University

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