Neuroeconomics and the Governance of Choice

Schull Lecture Photos

Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm

Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School of Public Affairs

What happens when brain science enters the policy arena? As our country faces economic, health, and environmental crises, a growing number of policy makers are looking to brain research to find better ways of guiding behavior and creating wise templates for governance.

Neuroeconomics, which marries behavioral economics research with neuroscience tools, looks at one aspect of human behavior particularly relevant to public policy — we nearly always value the present at the expense of the future. In this lecture, MIT cultural anthropologist Natasha Dow Schüll, PhD, explored what might happen when neuroeconomics enters the policy arena.

Akshay Rao, PhD
Professor, Carlson School of Management

1.5 hours of standard CLE credits approved. Event #176462

Natasha Dow Schüll is a cultural anthropologist and associate professor at MIT’s Program in Science, Technology, and Society. Her new book, Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas (Princeton University Press 2012), draws on extended research among compulsive gamblers and the designers of the slot machines they play to explore the relationship between technology design and the experience of addiction. Her current, ongoing research concerns the field of neuroeconomics and what its questions and methods reveal about larger cultural values.

Prof. Schüll graduated summa cum laude from UC Berkeley’s Department of Anthropology in 1993 and returned to receive her PhD in 2003. She held postdoctoral positions as a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar at Columbia University’s Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, and as a fellow at NYU’s International Center for Advanced Studies. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, among other sources.

February 28, 2013