Genevsky, A., & Knutson, B. (2015). Neural affective mechanisms predict market-level microlending. Psychological Science. Advance online publication. doi:10.1177/0956797615588467
Researchers investigate the neural mechanisms in which microloans receive approval based on the elicitation of positive affect by applicant’s photographs in two separate studies: one internet and the other a neuroimaging study. The internet study showed that positive affect in applicant photographs promoted loan success. The neuroimaging study further extended the internet findings by showing lender’s active regions in the brain where positive emotions are closely associated with, the nucleus accumbens, as well as self-reported positive affect by lenders who approved loans for those applicants who had high ratings of eliciting positive emotions. Implications for the role of affective neuroscience in microlending success and market-level behaviors are discussed.