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George Loewenstein
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City awards Professor George Loewenstein with honorary doctorate

Professor Loewenstein has made a major contribution with his prolific research focusing on the application of psychology to economics

by George Wigmore (Senior Communications Officer)

Professor George Loewenstein, one of the founders of the field of behavioural economics, has been awarded an honorary doctorate by City University London. The ceremony took place on Thursday 28 January at the Barbican Centre.

An outstanding academic amongst his peers having made a major contribution with his prolific research focusing on the application of psychology to economics, Professor George Loewenstein is currently the Herbert A. Simon Professor of Economics and Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University.

Emerging with a PhD in economics from Yale University in 1985, since then Professor Loewenstein's research has focused on huge range of applications of psychology to economics.

This includes decision-making over time, psychology and health, the psychology of adaptation, the role of emotion in decision-making and "out of control" behaviours such as impulsive violent crime and drug addiction.

He is also one of the early proponents of a new approach to public policy called, variously, ‘asymmetric’ or ‘libertarian’ paternalism, and his most recent research focuses on applications of behavioural economics to public policy, with special emphases on health and climate change.

At City University London, Professor Loewenstein has also had a major impact through his collaborations with the Psychology and Economics Departments, as well as the Cass Business School.

Working with Professor Peter Ayton in the Department of Psychology, Professor Loewenstein has co-authored papers on prisoners’ adaptation to incarceration, and he has collaborated with Professor Irene Scopelliti at Cass Business School on research showing that people tend to under-appreciate how negatively other people will respond to their own bragging. Professor Loewenstein has also played a significant role as advisor in the creation of the new Behavioural Economics Masters programme.

Speaking about the award, Professor Loewenstein said:

“It is a great honour to receive this award from City University London. Over the years I have collaborated with several academics at City and also been involved in the creation of the new Behavioural Economics Masters programme, so it is fantastic to see how the new course and Behavioural Economics itself has grown at the institution.”

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.