Behavioral Economic Engineering
"What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention, and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it." (Herbert Simon, 1971)
Designing information services and systems that incorporate desired individual and social outcomes requires understanding of the information, instruction, and support structures, as well as the incentives, motivations and psychological biases of users within the technological possibilities available. Information design and encoding of such systems incorporates models of human behavior whose empirical validity becomes a critical component of the system's verification of the effectiveness.
We investigate different explorative and predictive models of time discounting behavior using a unique data set from an online medical claim negotiation service. We examine negotiators' discounting patterns, time preference behavior and construct different predictive models/technologies for improving negotiation outcomes. The data also provide a unique opportunity to to study individual inter-temporal preferences outside the experimental laboratory and provide some empirical evidence towards the predictive accuracy of different models of time discounting. This understanding is crucial in behavioral modeling of users and in providing technologies which improve negotiation outcomes.