Friday, 12 February 2016

Research Seminar: Professor Philip Corr (City University)


Title: Behavioural Economics and the Challenge of Change

Date: Thursday 25th February
Location: Town Hall Committee Room 2
Time: 12:00 - 13:00

Informed by psychology, economics has witnessed a revolution in the way it thinks about decision making and ‘rational’ behaviour. The new science of behavioural economics has ushered in a whole new set of ideas, perspectives and applications; and increasingly we are seeing, formerly homo economicus, agents in terms of limited capacity, flesh-and-blood real people who are faced with complex problems that have, often no obviously correct, multiple solutions. Here, individual differences between people in terms of aptitude and appetite loom as large as losses over gains. In this talk, I will meander over this terrain and highlight the importance of personality factors and process in these cognitive and behavioural outcomes. However, although the theoretical implications of basic systems of individual differences in emotional, motivational and learning systems - fight-flight-freeze system (FFFS), behavioural approach system (BAS), and the behavioural inhibition system (BIS) - for understanding heterogeneity in economic behaviour are fairly obvious, but little systematic empirical research has been conducted. In addition to a discussion of what has been done, I will present the first meta-analysis of the Big-5 factors of personality and standard experimental economics games.

The author of over 150 papers and chapters, and five books -- the most recent one (2016) being a biography of Hans Eysenck -- Philip Corr is Professor of Psychology (Behavioural Economics) at City University London since 2013, and previously he held professorial positions at the University of East Anglia (2009-2013; where he was Head of Psychology) and Swansea University (2004-2009; where he served as Head of Department). He is a Chartered Psychologist (C.Psychol.) of the British Psychological Society (BPS; and also an Associate Fellow), Fellow of Higher Education Academy (FHEA), a Chartered Scientist of the Science Council (CSci), and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).

Philip is best known for his work on fundamental systems of motivation and emotion entailed in approach and avoidance behaviour, specifically with the reinforcement sensitivity theory of personality. More about Philip can be seen at:

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