Cognitive Science Colloquium: Mina Cikara, Leveraging Choice Architecture to Alter Social Preference
Thursday, October 4, 2018
1103 Bioscience Research Building
Leveraging Choice Architecture to Alter Social Preferences
Psychology, Harvard University
Abstract: Stereotypes and associated emotions drive discriminatory behavior across numerous consequential contexts. These biases against marginalized social groups have important implications for real-world social decisions, including hiring, voting, health, and housing decisions. Psychologists have traditionally studied how people evaluate different ethnic and cultural groups (and their members) in isolation, but in the real world people commonly make judgments and decisions over sets of people. For example, hiring decisions involve the assessment of multiple candidates at once. Across a series of experiments, we harness insights from computational models of decision-making to examine whether choice set construction—or choice architecture—can be used to influence decision-makers' preferences in consequential social decisions. I will review several findings including a combination of field data and lab experiments to examine the effect of alternatives, or decoys, on social evaluations and decisions in hiring and election contexts.