Events - Center for Decision Research | Chicago Booth


The Center for Decision Research hosts regular events to promote the field of behavioral science and yield scientific discoveries with the potential to improve individual and social welfare.

Think Better

The Think Better speaker series welcomes leading scholars and practitioners to discuss how insights from behavioral science affect society, shape policy, impact business, and improve individual lives. The topics are relevant to anyone interested in understanding why people think, judge, choose, and act as they do.

Click the following links to learn more about our previous speakers in the Think Better series:



calendar of events

"The Surprising Power of Social Connection" with Nicholas Epley

Wednesday, April 01, 2020 6:00 PM

Nicholas Epley


How can we stay emotionally connected while social distancing? Social psychologist Nicholas Epley explores the science behind meaningful interactions.

Aristotle noted centuries ago that “man is by nature a social animal,” making the social distancing practices we are all operating under now an extremely unique and unusual experience over the course of human history. Connecting with others is a deep human need, and the quality of our social connections is a powerful determinant of our wellbeing and health.

Despite its importance, people tend to underestimate how positively their social acts will be received by others, creating psychological barriers to reaching out and engaging with others. Expressing gratitude, giving compliments, doing random acts of kindness, and engaging in deep conversation have more positive effects on others than those initiating these actions tend to expect.

At a time when we are encouraged to keep our physical distance from others, appreciating your power to have a positive impact on others simply by reaching out and engaging with them can encourage you to reach out more often, for both your own and others’ wellbeing.

About the Speaker

Nicholas Epley is the John Templeton Keller Professor of Behavior Science and faculty director of the Center for Decision Research at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He studies social cognition—how thinking people think about other thinking people—to understand why smart people so routinely misunderstand each other. He teaches an ethics and happiness course to MBA students called "Designing a Good Life." 

His research has appeared in more than two dozen empirical journals and popular publications including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, Wired, and National Public Radio. He is the author of Mindwise: How We Understand What Others Think, Believe, Feel, and Want.

calendar of events

(CANCELED) Think Better: With Alissa Fishbane


Alissa Fishbane

(Update: 3/13/20) We have been closely following the evolving situation with coronavirus (COVID-19), and have decided in accordance with University guidance and for the safety of all to cancel "Think Better with Alissa Fishbane."

We are exploring the possibility of rescheduling and will post more information as it becomes available. 

"The (New) Science of Designing for Humans"
Too often, the design of social programs and policies look more like art than science. Yet we now have the tools to innovate with scientific insights and methods. Using a behavioral design approach, which incorporates the science of human behavior and systematic testing, we are better equipped to create high-impact solutions. This talk will explore why this approach is critical and how it can generate social change across education, health, finance, criminal justice, and other areas.

About the Speaker
Alissa Fishbane is a Managing Director at ideas42, a global nonprofit using behavioral science to design scalable solutions for social impact in over 35 countries. Previously she was Managing Director of Deworm the World, Latin America Director and founding Mexico Country Director for Innovations for Poverty Action, and a Senior Director at City Year. Alissa graduated with honors in Political Economy from the University of California, Berkeley and has a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

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