See also: Attention Economy
Prospect theory, Kahnemann-and-Tversky style. Rational Heuristics, Gigerenzer-and-Todd style. Docility, Herbert-Simon-wise. Friedrich Hayek on information aggregation in markets, and the rest of those Austrian Economists. Behavioural economics more generally.
How can we handle a market in the large where the boundedly rational dynamics of human decisions are in effect? Does it even matter? Are markets systems for fabricating rational-like behaviour from irrational agents? (Hayek might argue this, and I think also Gode and Sunder of Zero Intelligence Agents fame. Friedman argued that in fact that markets turn people into rational agents, which is yet stronger.)
Are there useful measures of “how much rationality” humans have that we can use for aggregate modelling? (as opp. the minute and detailed ones that Kahnemann and Tversky devise, that are hard to scale up.) Would statistical learning theory help us here? Even computational complexity?
Such research is the bread-and-butter of PR and advertising agencies, PsyOps departments and interior designers the world over, but they don’t usually publish. The Debunking Handbook is the not-for-profit equivalent.
The way the brain buys is a summary of “neuromarketing” in The Economist
Kahenmann and Tversky.
“Using expected utility to explain anything more than economically negligible risk aversion over moderate stakes such as $10, $100, and even $1,000 requires a utility-of-wealth function that predicts absurdly severe risk aversion over very large stakes. Conventional expected utility theory is simply not a plausible explanation for many instances of risk aversion that economists study.”