Behavioral Science Workshops - Center for Decision Research | Chicago Booth

Behavioral Science Workshops

Invited guests, faculty, and students present current research in decision-making and judgment in our workshop series. The emphasis of our workshop series is on behavioral implications of decision and judgment models.


Fall 2021 Workshop Schedule

  • Location: Hybrid 
    • In-person - Chicago Booth Harper Center, Classroom C06
    • Zoom - link will be emailed to attendees before the event
  • When: Mondays 10:10–11:30 a.m. (unless otherwise noted)
  • Who can attend: Workshops are open to CDR faculty, researchers, staff, and students, plus invited guests. Additional requests to attend the workshop are handled on a case-by-case basis. Please email if you’d like to attend. 

Monday, September 27

Jeff Larsen
University of Tennessee

"Wrong about everything: A wary psychologist tries to get things right"

A bat and a ball cost $1.10 total. The bat costs $1 more than the ball. I hate that ball. I hate it because I can’t shake the illusion that it costs a dime even though I recognize that it costs a nickel. In this circumstance and many others, our intuition leads us astray and our reasoning has difficulty leading us aright. Much as I hate that ball, I hope that it also offers me a way to reach my undergraduate social psychology students. I’ve spent decades struggling to persuade them that much of what we know simply isn’t so (Gilovich, 1991). I have a growing suspicion, however, that many of them dismiss our entire field’s body of evidence as a series of curiosities and walk away from my class utterly confident in the knowledge that all that they know is so. I’ve decided to redouble my efforts by throwing out my textbook, lectures, and powerpoints, and writing my own book. My goal is to adopt an intellectually humble approach by highlighting how I am wrong—not just about the ball, but about just about everything, including now-debunked classic findings in social psychology. I will also give intuition its due whenever possible by highlighting cases where it is reasoning—not intuition—that leads us astray. In my talk, I’ll sketch out my plans for the book. Along the way, I’ll also share the makings of a research program exploring why people side with intuition even when their own rational analysis leads them to recognize that doing so will be costly. Some people may acquiesce to intuition (Walco & Risen, 2017) due to wishful thinking or out of sheer willfulness. Others, however, may welcome the costs of acquiescing to intuition when doing so allows them to realize their true selves (Maglio & Reich, 2018; Schlegel et al., 2013).


Monday, October 4

Hajin Kim
University of Chicago

"Self-fulfilling Stakeholder Expectations" 

Should corporations be run to maximize shareholder welfare or should they also consider their impacts on society, beyond what governments require? Not yet explored in this seemingly endless dispute over corporate purpose is how the debate itself shapes expectations, behavior, and thus corporate reputational incentives. This project proposes that our expectations about appropriate firm behavior could be, to a degree, self-fulfilling. If everyone believes that corporations must maximize profits only, nobody will protest when corporate pursuits of profits harm society—the firms were fulfilling their duty and meeting investor and consumer expectations. But what if people instead believe that corporations should consider their social impacts, even sometimes at the expense of profits? Consumers, employees, and investors might be more willing to object to corporate harms by changing their purchasing, job choice, and investing behaviors or by petitioning corporate leaders for redress. Those objections would change firm incentives. And, in response to those tangible incentives, even purely profit-maximizing firms would try to do more good and less harm. Ironically, then, stakeholder expectations of firm morality could help make some level of firm morality more profitable. This Article explores this insight to develop Stakeholder Expectations Theory: Normative and legal interventions that encourage stakeholders to believe that firms can and should care about society could lead firms to internalize more externalities. In a preregistered study with over 600 participants, the Article finds initial empirical support for the theory, though further tests are needed.


Monday, October 11

Sarah Sebo
University of Chicago

Title & abstract coming soon.


Monday, October 18, 2021

Ashley Martin
Stanford University

"What Does It Mean to Be (Seen as) Human? The Importance of Gender in Humanization"

What does it mean to be human? Ten studies explore this age-old question and show that gender is a critical feature of perceiving humanness, being more central to conceptions of humanness than other social categories (race, age, sexual-orientation, religion, disability). Our first six studies induce humanization (i.e., anthropomorphism) and measure social-category ascription. Across different manipulations (e.g., having participants recall experiences, observe moving shapes, imagine non-human entities as people, and create a human form), we find that gender is the most strongly ascribed social category and the one that uniquely predicts humanization. To provide further evidence that gender is central to conceptions of personhood, and to examine the consequences of withholding it, we then demonstrate that removing it from virtual humans (Study 5), human groups (Study 6), alien species (Study 7) and individuals (Study 8) leads them to be seen as less human. The diminished humanness ascribed to nongendered and genderless targets is due, at least in part, to the lack of a gender schema to guide facile and efficient sensemaking. The relative difficulty perceivers had in making sense of nongendered targets predicted diminished humanness ratings. Finally, we demonstrate downstream consequences of stripping a target of gender: perceivers consider them less relatable and more socially distant (Study 8). These results have theoretical implications for research on gender, (de)humanization, anthropomorphism, and social cognition, more broadly.


Monday, October 25

Gal Zauberman

Title & abstract coming soon.


Monday, November 1

Maryam Kouchaki

Title & abstract coming soon.


Monday, November 8

Katherine Kinzler
University of Chicago

Title & abstract coming soon.

Marketing Workshop

Many CDR members may also be interested in the schedule for the Marketing Workshop series.

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