Economists widely use utility function (and more broader approach called hedonistic regression) but are there explanations or derivations of utility function from the perspective of cognitive sciences or psychology which can take into account personality, beliefs and experience (memory) and ongoing emotions (affects)? Clearly one should start with the Maslov pyramid that determines goals and needs and then one can proceed to explain why different people value differently one and the same goods or services? Are there such research trends, some keywords, terms, notable researchers in this area?
I have read only about incorporation of altruism in the utility function of neoclassical economics, about hypberbolic discount function and so on. But I have not managed to find more practical explanation of utility function.
This question has the following context: I am trying to model the economic behavior or BDI agent - agent with Beliefs/Desires/Intentions. BDI is the most popular approach for modelling cognitive agents. Recent research (e.g. http://people.idsia.ch/~steunebrink/) has endowed BDI agents with formalization of emotions (KARO logic framework) and there is scarce but ongoing work to endow BDI agents with personality (e.g IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing and Five Factor Model from personality psychology). So, BDI agents have cognition, personality and affects and they can be used as models of human economic behavior. But there is missing link from economics and cognitive sciences - how humans act as economic agents? What are the models? What goals they can have, how behavior (decision to make purchase) can be infered from agent's goals, beliefs, personality and emotions? How human perception of utility (of particular attributes of particular products, particular designs, particular type of entertainment, etc.) is connected with his personality, experience, beliefs, affects? Utility function seems to be promising proxy in this research - psychology can explain utility function and economics can apply this function to particular transactions.
Is there some research along this lines?
This should be promising area of research. Because common approach to economic analysis and prediction is connected with Data Science and statistical methods (conjoint analysis and hedonic regression). What I am trying to do is to find logic, semantic, cognitive methods of explanation and prediction of customer behavior. Similar trend - from statistical to semantic methods can be found in other fields of Science as well - e.g. in natural language processing, in search engine engineering and so on.