Behavioural and Brain Research for Society & Business (BB4SB)

New, Virtual & Vibrant- by Invitation Only

In this new virtual seminar series on “Behavioral and Brain Science for Society and Business (BB4SB)” we would like to discuss how cross-disciplinary social science research can be leveraged by companies and policy institutions to improve societal and also business goals. We aim to make this research accessible for cross-disciplinary academic audience at Business Schools with the goal to foster new research opportunities between these disciplines. The seminar series draws together scholars that share a common interest in better explaining decision making behavior.

This new virtual seminar series is collaborative effort between [email protected] and INSEAD’s Hoffman Global Institute for Business and Society (HGIBS). The mission of the Hoffmann Institute is to help businesses develop positive outcomes for communities, people and our planet in line with globally agreed sustainability goals.

These Zoom meetings will include a 35 minutes presentation, followed by a ~25 minutes Q&A moderated by a small panel of INSEAD faculty from different areas. Open to all INSEAD faculty and research staff across campuses.

This seminar series is organised by Hilke Plassmann, Ziv Carmon and Mark Stabile


Hilke Plassmann

Hilke Plassmann is the Octapharma Chaired Professor of Decision Neuroscience and Associate Professor in INSEAD’s Marketing Area. She is also an Affiliated Faculty at the Paris Brain Institute (ICM) of Sorbonne University. Hilke’s primary research area is judgment and decision-making in the intersection of neuroscience, psychology and economics. In recent and current research projects she investigates the neural basis of different decision-making related value signals and ways to self-regulate these signals. Hilke is also interested the influence of pricing, branding and health information on consumer decision making. Her work has implications for both, management and public policy. Detailed CV.

Mark Stabile

Mark Stabile is the Stone Chaired Professor of Wealth Inequality and Professor of Economics at INSEAD. He directs the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Centre for the Study of Wealth Inequality at INSEAD and is the Deputy Academic Director of the Hoffmann Global Institute for Business and Society. His recent work focuses on inequality, poverty, child health, health care financing, and tax policy. He has advised the Governments of the United States, Canada, and Ontario, among others, on health care reform and programs to reduce child poverty. Detailed CV.

Ziv Carmon

Ziv Carmon is the Dean of Research and the Alfred H. Heineken Chaired Professor of Marketing at INSEAD. He studies judgment and decision-making, and its public policy, strategic, and tactical implications. His research has been extensively published in the leading academic marketing and decision-making publications. Detailed CV.



Thursday 11 February 2021

Europe Campus - 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm / Asia Campus - 10:00 pm – 11:00 pm / Middle East Campus - 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Becoming Better Choice Architects: How to Present Environmental Decisions for a Greener World


Guest speaker


Eric Johnson

Eric Johnson is a faculty member at the Columbia Business School at Columbia University where he is the inaugural holder of the Norman Eig Chair of Business, and Director of the Center for Decision Sciences. His research examines the interface between Behavioral Decision Research, Economics and the decisions made by consumers, managers, and their implications for public policy, markets and marketing. Among other topics, Johnson has explored how the way options are presented to decision-makers affect their choices in areas such as organ donation, the choice of environmentally friendly products, and investments.

After graduation from Rutgers University, he received his M.S. and PhD. in Psychology from Carnegie-Mellon University, and was a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow at Stanford. He was awarded the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the Society for Consumer Psychology, and named a Fellow by the Association for Consumer Research, was awarded an honorary doctorate in Economics from the University of St. Gallen, and is a Fellow of the TIAA-CREF Institute Fellow and the Association for Psychological Science. According to the Institute for Scientific Information, he has an over 11,000 citations and an h-index according to Google Scholar of 78. He has also been president of the Society for Neuroeconomics and the Society for Judgement and Decision-Making. He was a visiting scholar at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau 2014-2017.


Abstract: Since the publication of Nudge (2008) there has been significant discussion of the ethics of choice architecture, its effectiveness, and many demonstrations of its effectiveness and failures. In this talk, I will outline a simple framework describing how choice architecture influences choices, and how it guides choice architects (designers) in applying tools to help choosers make better choices. While the framework and the tools are broadly applicable by firms and policy makers, I will concentrate on application to environmental decisions.

Watch this video excerpt

Friday 19 March 2021

Europe Campus  - 10:00 am – 11:00 am / Asia Campus - 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm / Middle East Campus - 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Availability Interventions: Underspecified, Underestimated and Underused  

This presentation will be hosted by Pierre Chandon and moderated by Hilke Plassmann and Kaisa Snellman


Guest speaker


Professor Dame Theresa Marteau

Professor Dame Theresa Marteau is Director of the Behaviour and Health Research Unit in the Clinical School at the University of Cambridge, and Director of Studies in Psychological and Behavioural Sciences at Christ’s College, Cambridge.

Her research interests include:

development and evaluation of interventions to change behaviour (principally diet, tobacco and alcohol consumption) to improve population health and reduce health inequalities, with a particular focus on targeting non-conscious processes
risk perception and communication, particular of biomarker-derived risks, and their weak links with behaviour change
acceptability to publics and policy makers of government intervention to change behavior.

Current research in her group is funded by Wellcome.

She co-chairs The Lancet-Chatham House Commission on improving population health post COVID-19, focusing on identifying key actions for equitable and sustainable improvements in health. She currently participates in the UK government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in particular, two SAGE subgroups: the Scientific Pandemic Influenza group on Behaviours (SPI-B) and the Environment and Modelling Group (EMG).


Abstract: Changing the availability of products or objects – such as food, alcohol and tobacco - can have a large effect on their selection and consumption (1,2,3). For example, doubling the proportion of plant-based meals available in student cafeterias - from 1 in 4 to 2 in 4 - (involving halving the proportion of meat-based meals) increased the proportion of plant-based meals selected by between 41% and 79% (3). Availability interventions are rarely evaluated (4), poorly specified and their mechanisms for effect little understood (5). This has resulted in an underestimation of the potential of these interventions to contribute to a range of policy objectives to achieve healthier populations sustainably. This talk will outline some of the ways of realising this potential.

Friday 11 June 2021

Europe Campus  - 9:00 am – 10:00 am / Asia Campus - 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm / Middle East Campus - 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Attentional Foundations of Framing Effects


Guest speaker


Ernst Fehr

Ernst Fehr has been Professor of Microeconomics and Experimental Economics at the University of Zurich since 1994. He currently serves as director of the UBS International Center of Economics in Society. He was also a Global Distinguished Professor at New York University from 2011 to 2020 and was an affiliated faculty member of the Department of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 2003 to 2011. He is a former president of the Economic Science Association and of the European Economic Association, an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and John Kenneth Galbraith Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences. He was recipient of the Marcel Benoist Prize in 2008 and the Gottlieb Duttweiler Prize in 2013.

Ernst Fehr was born in Hard (Vorarlberg, Austria) in 1956. He studied Economics at the University of Vienna, where he later earned his doctorate and completed his habilitation.

He has conducted extensive research on the impact of social preferences on competition, cooperation and on the psychological foundations of incentives. More recently he has worked on the role of bounded rationality in strategic interactions and on the neurobiological foundations of social and economic behavior. Fehr’s work is characterized by the combination of game theoretic tools with experimental methods and the use of insights from economics, social psychology, sociology, biology and neuroscience for a better understanding of human social behavior.


Abstract: Framing effects on choice behavior have puzzled economists for decades because they are hard, if at all, to explain with rational choice theories. Why should mere changes in the description of a choice problem affect decision-making? Here, we show that framing strongly influences the allocation of attention to the different choice alternatives and that the framing effect on attention predicts the framing effect on choices. Moreover, we are able to reduce the behavioral framing effect by appropriate manipulations of attention, indicating a causal effect of attention on behavior. We also show that all major choice and response time patterns and their association with attention allocation are predicted by an attentional drift-diffusion model. Finally, we structurally estimate the model and document that – in addition to changing the allocation of attention – framing also changes the attentional discounting of non-attended alternatives.

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