Thursday, December 14, 2017
4:00 pm
Baxter B125

Behavioral Social Neuroscience Seminar

Portrait of the Angry Decision Maker
Jennifer Lerner, Professor of Public Policy and Management, Harvard Kennedy School of Government; Faculty Chair, Leadership Decision Making Program

Drawing on the Appraisal-Tendency Framework (Lerner & Keltner, 2000; 2001), Lerner will present a series of studies from her lab revealing that incidental anger systematically biases judgment and decision making by heightening perceptions of controllability and certainty, decreasing perceptions of risk, and increasing risk taking. She then will present a series of studies (also from her lab) revealing the ways in which such superficially "biased" responses prove to be both biologically adaptive and financially lucrative, especially for males. Taken together, the studies make clear that simple conclusions about the role of emotion in rationality obfuscate complex patterns of human behavior. Angry decision makers exhibit a predictable pattern of responses but the normative consequences of such responses hinge on specific situational contingencies.

Contact Mary Martin mmartin@caltech.edu at 626-395-5884
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