Summary: perience correlate with subsequent choices offers
strong evidence for the existence of intrinsic pref-
erences. Although it is not clear how malleable
these preferences are, their existence may have
health implications for the way in which in-
dividuals deal with events that are known to be
unpleasant--for example, going to the doctor for
painful procedures. The neurobiological mecha-
nisms governing dreading behavior may hold
clues for both better pain management and
improvements in public health.
References and Notes
1. P. A. Samuelson, Rev. Econ. Stud. 4, 155 (1937).
2. The opposite of utility is generally referred to as disutility,
but for the sake of clarity, we refer to ``utility'' as
possessing both positive and negative domains.
3. G. Loewenstein, Econ. J. 97, 666 (1987).
4. A. Caplin, J. Leahy, Q. J. Econ. 116, 55 (2001).
5. R.-R. Ji, T. Kohno, K. A. Moore, C. J. Woolf, Trends
Neurosci. 26, 696 (2003).