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Cafe Scientifique to Focus on Behavioral Economics

Posted by Jenna Ray on Monday, Apr. 14, 2014

Event Date/Time: Tuesday, Apr. 29, 2014 6:00 pm
Location: Common Cup Coffeehouse (501 Atlantic Avenue, Morris, MN 56267)

The next Café Scientifique will take place on Tuesday, April 29, at 6 p.m. at the Common Cup Coffeehouse (501 Atlantic Avenue, Morris, MN 56267). Stephen Burks, associate professor of economics, will lead the discussion, entitled “Who Is Greedy and Who Is Not? Comparing Morris Residents, UMM Students, and Trainee Truckers in the Behavioral Economics Laboratory.” All are welcome to attend. Audience participation is encouraged.

From 2005–07, Burks and Jon Anderson, professor statistics, along with colleagues from other universities, ran a series of behavioral economic experiments with 1,065 trainee truckers, 100 UMM students, and 94 Morris-area adults as subjects. The research project was focused on the truckers, but one of the goals was to compare the truckers’ behavior to that of the other two reference groups. Burks will describe the overall study design and review a few of the main findings, and then will focus on the results about “costly pro-social behavior”: what the experiment was, what it revealed when truckers, Morris residents, and UMM students were compared, and how it fits into social science.

Café Scientifique is an ongoing series that offers a space where anyone can come to explore the latest ideas in science and technology for the price of a cup of coffee. Meetings take place outside of a traditional academic context and are committed to promoting public engagement with science. Additional information is available at

Café Scientifique is supported in part by a grant to the University of Minnesota, Morris from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute through the Precollege and Undergraduate Science Education Program.