The Murphy Institute

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This is a past Event

Spring 2013 Yates Lecture:  George Loewenstein

Herbert A. Simon Professor of Economics and Psychology

"This is Your Brain on Emotion: Implications of an Evolutionary Account of Affect"



Kendall-Cram Room, Lavin-Bernick Center


Watch the lecture on Tulane’s YouTube channel.

Professor Loewenstein discussed a variety of research projects that examine the implications of an evolutionary account of emotion. According the evolutionary account, emotions are all-encompassing ‘programs’ that prepare us to react to recurring situations of evolutionary significance. When we are in different emotional states, the evolutionary account suggests, we are so profoundly transformed that we are, in effect, ‘different people’. Such an account helps to make sense of research findings he will discuss which show (1) how profoundly emotions affect judgment and decision making, and (2) how little insight we have into our own (and others’) behavior in emotional states different from that which we are currently experiencing.

About the Speaker

George Loewenstein is the Herbert A. Simon Professor of Economics and Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University. He is a founder of the fields of behavioral economics and neuroeconomics, and one of the leading thinkers examining the relationship between economics and psychology. The author of over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, he has written or edited six books on topics ranging from inter-temporal choice to behavioral economics to emotions. His most recent book is Exotic Preferences: Behavioral Economics and Human Motivation (Oxford University Press, 2007).

Professor Loewenstein received his PhD from Yale University in 1985 and has held fellowships at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the Russell Sage Foundation and the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin. He is past president of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Filed under: Political Economy, Yates Lectures, The Center for Public Policy Research, Public Policy Lectures