Université de Strasbourg

Drazen Prelec

Drazen Prelec photoDrazen Prelec is Professor of Management Science and Economics at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and one of the leading experts in neuroeconomics, where economics, psychology and neuroscience intersect.

Prelec has been a member of the MIT faculty since 1991, and presently holds appointments in the Sloan School, the Economics Department, and the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and he is the director of the MIT Sloan Neuroeconomics Lab. He received his Ph. D in experimental psychology and AB in applied mathematics from Harvard University. He has received a number of distinguished research awards, including the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship.

Professor Prelec investigates the development of normative decision theory and the exploration of the empirical failures of that theory. His research deals with the psychology and neuroscience of decision-making, including behavioral economics and neuroeconomics, risky choice, time discounting, self-control, and consumer behavior. He works on both the development of normative decision theory and the exploration of the empirical failures of that theory, using behavioral and fMRI methods.

A current project on “self-signaling” tries to understand the strange power of non-causal motivation — when individuals favor actions that are diagnostic of good outcomes, even though these actions have little or no causal force.  Diagnostic motivation is real, and is probably essential for human self-control. Its cognitive and neural mechanisms are not well understood however.

A second “Bayesian truth serum” project deals with scoring systems for evaluating individual and collective judgment in knowledge domains where no external truth criterion is available. Examples would be long-range forecasts, political or historical inferences, and artistic or legal interpretations. He is developing scoring systems that reward honest judgments, and that can identify truth even when majority opinion is wrong.

Professor Prelec is hosted in Strasbourg by USIAS Fellow 2017 Alan Kirman and will give a public lecture titled "Finding truth when most people are wrong", on Monday 23 October 2017, 15:30 at the Salle de Conférence of the MISHA. 

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