With Great Responsibility Comes Great Charity

The next time you’re looking to raise some money, choose your words carefully. A recent study by a collaboration between Harvard Business School and the University of British Columbia has shown that the wealthy are willing to donate more money if they are prompted with agentic appeals for donations – that is, appeals to individual action – rather than communal. Drawing on previous research on … Continue reading With Great Responsibility Comes Great Charity

Ask the Brain: Why Do We Crave Sugar When We’re Stressed?

In America, uncontrolled sugar consumption is a concern because of its contributions to obesity and diabetes. A recent study investigated the psychological basis of sugar cravings during times of stress. Researchers proposed that sugar turns down the stress response in the human brain. As a result, we may be consuming sugar as a quick way to hold back feelings of stress. To test this hypothesis, … Continue reading Ask the Brain: Why Do We Crave Sugar When We’re Stressed?

Teasing out a Tangled Question: How did mammals become monogamous?

Our culture generally assumes that human beings are a monogamous species, with two people committed to one another for a long-term relationship. Scientifically, the existence of monogamy seems counter-intuitive. One of the principles of evolution is that all animals want to maximize their reproductive success. Parents want their genes to be passed on to the next generation, and having more offspring increases the likelihood that … Continue reading Teasing out a Tangled Question: How did mammals become monogamous?

Born to be Bad? The Biological Basis of Criminal Behavior

Presented by Clare Malone Is there a biological reason why some people become violent offenders? This is an area of biology with many legal, ethical, and societal implications. Tonight we will focus on what the biology can, and cannot, tell us about the causes of violent behavior. We will talk about the studies that have been done, their results, and their limitations. Along the way … Continue reading Born to be Bad? The Biological Basis of Criminal Behavior

Thinking About Thinking: the science of decision-making from an economics and neurobiology perspective

Presented by Jessica Laird, Brenna Krieger, and Philip Shiu Decision-making is part of our daily routine, but what is really going on in our heads? This lecture will explore the science of decision-making from the perspectives of Economics and Neurobiology. First, we’ll learn how economists examine decision-making when there is a tradeoff between immediate and future happiness. For example, how do people compare the present … Continue reading Thinking About Thinking: the science of decision-making from an economics and neurobiology perspective