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Is the brain green?

Filed in Research News
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Decision Science researchers Elke Weber and Dave Krantz of Columbia University feature prominently in the recent New York Times article Why Isn’t The Brain Green?.


Over the past few decades a great deal of research has addressed how we make decisions in financial settings or when confronted with choices having to do with health care and consumer products. A few years ago, a Columbia psychology professor named David H. Krantz teamed up with Elke Weber — who holds a chair at Columbia’s business school as well as an appointment in the school’s psychology department — to assemble an interdisciplinary group of economists, psychologists and anthropologists from around the world who would examine decision-making related to environmental issues. Aided by a $6 million grant from the National Science Foundation, CRED has the primary objective of studying how perceptions of risk and uncertainty shape our responses to climate change and other weather phenomena like hurricanes and droughts. The goal, in other words, isn’t so much to explore theories about how people relate to nature, which has been a longtime pursuit of some environmental psychologists and even academics like the Harvard biologist E. O. Wilson. Rather, it is to finance laboratory and field experiments in North America, South America, Europe and Africa and then place the findings within an environmental context.

The article features other decision researchers as well, including Baruch Fischhoff, Thaler, Sunstein, Michel Handgraaf, and Dave Hardisty. DSN would like to point out that whether or not the brain is green, the brain is responsible for green.


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