Neural and Behavioral Insights on Trust

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Tuesday, January 31, 2017 - 10:30am–11:00am

Uma R. Karmarkar, Assistant Professor, Harvard Business School; Affiliate of the Harvard Center for Brain Science; currently a Visiting Scholar at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley

Abstract: 

Trust is a psychological factor that can gate channels of communication, persuasion, and collaboration. Here, I offer an overview of some of the neural and psychological mechanisms involved in coding for trust and coding for distrust. Trust can be conceptualized as two types of functions. The first is a factor in a relationship with another agent that is often socially developed through one or more interactions. The second is as an individual perception that contributes to certainty or confidence in the face of uncertainty. My research relates to the latter, and how people use incomplete information to handle uncertain or ambiguous decisions. I will show how the relationship between information and feelings of certainty is important for persuasion, and can lead to both optimistic and pessimistic biases in individual decision-making.

Uma R. Karmarkar, Assistant Professor, Harvard Business School; Affiliate of the Harvard Center for Brain Science; Visiting Scholar at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley

Uma R. Karmarkar is an Assistant Professor in the Marketing Unit at the Harvard Business School. She holds dual PhDs in Neuroscience (University of California, Los Angeles) and in Consumer Behavior (Stanford Graduate School of Business). Prior to entering the field of consumer behavior, she held an NIH-supported postdoctoral fellowship in Neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Karmarkar’s research on this falls into two major streams. The first investigates how individuals use the limited information available in uncertain contexts to make choices. The second examines how the timing and context-dependent framing of information influences perceptions of value and decisions. In pursuing this work, she combines methods from consumer psychology and behavioral economics together with neuroimaging, allowing her to study both conscious and unconscious processes.

BibTeX
@conference {201687,
author = {Uma R. Karmarkar},
title = {Neural and Behavioral Insights on Trust},
year = {2017},
address = {Oakland, CA},
publisher = {{USENIX} Association},
month = jan,
}

Presentation Video