Spring 2020 Workshops (Canceled) - Center for Decision Research | Chicago Booth

Spring 2020 Workshops (Canceled)

The Spring 2020 workshops were canceled after the University of Chicago suspended on-campus operations due to COVID-19 in March 2020. Below was the planned list of speakers.  

Larisa Heiphetz

Assistant Professor of Psychology
Columbia University

“Perceived (Im)morality and Identity”
What makes us who we are? Philosophers have long suggested that it's our memories -- if we remembered our lives differently, our entire sense of self might change. This talk considers the extent to which laypeople's judgments match philosophical theories and what consequences these judgments hold for social judgment. In Part I, I discuss data showing that children and adults perceive moral beliefs to be especially central to identity. This is particularly true of widely shared moral beliefs, which are shared with most other people in one's culture. In Part II, I ask how children and adults think about the identities of people who have violated widely shared moral norms. Here, findings suggest that laypeople, especially children, attribute such behavior (e.g., contact with the justice system, which is often perceived to reflect a violation of widely shared moral norms) to internal "essences." Such perceptions lead to more negative responses toward people who are perceived to have committed transgressions. When discussing immorality, emphasizing behaviors ("she did something wrong") as opposed to internal characteristics ("she is a bad person") may benefit people who have transgressed -- which, at some point, will be all of us.


Maryam Kouchaki

Associate Professor of Management & Organizations
Northwestern University
Title TBA


Alberto Alesina

"Persistence Through Revolutions”
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Harvard University


Oriel FeldmanHall

Assistant Professor of Cognitive, Linguistic, & Psychological Sciences
Brown University

“The Dynamics of Prosocial Choice”
How do humans make choices when there are competing pressures of fairness, harm, self-interest, and concern for others? Combining behavioral, computational and neuroimaging methods, our research explores the social, emotional and cognitive factors that shape and ultimately guide these complex prosocial choices and how we learn to make such decisions. We explore this space from multiple angles, first examining how individual differences systematically amplify or attenuate prosociality. We then examine how context and emotional engagement provides boundary conditions that can further strengthen the desire to be pro- or anti-social. Taken together, this work demonstrates that while moral behavior is flexibly deployed, there are key factors that can systematically bias our social choices.


Gal Zauberman

Professor of Marketing
Yale University
Title TBA


Gretchen Chapman

Professor of Psychology
Carnegie Mellon University
Title TBA


Hyo Gweon

Assistant Professor of Psychology
Stanford University
Title TBA


Diana Tamir

Assistant Professor of Psychology
Princeton University

“Making Predictions in the Social World”
The social mind is tailored to the problem of predicting other people. Imagine trying to navigate the social world without understanding that tired people tend to become frustrated, or that mean people tend to lash out. Our social interactions depend on the ability to anticipate others’ actions, and we rely on knowledge about their state (i.e., tired) and traits (i.e., mean) to do so. I will present a multi-layered framework of social cognition that helps to explain how people represent the richness and complexity of others’ minds, and how they use this representation to predict others’ actions. Using both neuroimaging, behavioral, and linguistic analysis methods, I demonstrate how the social mind might leverage both the structure and dynamics of mental state representations to make predictions about the social world.


Igor Grossmann

Associate Professor of Psychology
University of Waterloo

“A dual folk standard framework for sound judgment: Rationality vs. Reasonableness”
Normative theories of judgment either focus on rationality – decontextualized preference maximization, or reasonableness – the pragmatic balance of preferences and socially-conscious norms. Despite centuries of work on such concepts, a critical question has remained overlooked: How do people’s intuitions and behavior align with the concepts of rationality from game theory and reasonableness from legal scholarship? In the present talk I will demonstrate that laypeople \ view rationality as abstract and preference-maximizing, simultaneously viewing reasonableness as social-context-sensitive and socially-conscious, as evidenced in spontaneous descriptions, social perceptions, and linguistic analyses of the terms in cultural products (news, soap operas, legal opinions, and Google books). Further, experiments among North Americans, Chinese and Pakistani bankers, street merchants, and samples engaging in exchange (vs. market-) economy show that rationality and reasonableness lead people to different conclusions about what constitutes good judgment in Dictator Games, Commons Dilemma and Prisoner’s Dilemma: Lay rationality is reductionist and instrumental, whereas reasonableness integrates preferences with particulars and moral concerns