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ELKE WEBER

Q&A

What influences decision making under uncertainty? And what can we learn about time delay in environmental contexts from a neuroscience perspective? Elke Weber, Professor of both Psychology and Public Affairs, as well as Energy and the Environment at Princeton University is an expert in both domains. Dr. Weber’s knowledge has been sought out by groups from the American Psychological Association to the United Nations.

We’re honoured that she will be joining us at Nudgestock Global this year. Elke was awarded the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the Society for Risk Analysis in 2016. To hear about Query Theory from the scientist who developed it herself, be sure to not miss Elke speak on June 12th.

Before then, we got to know her a little better first…

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What are your top tips to survive lockdown?


“Develop routines and markers that delineate work and leisure. Build in sufficient exercise and healthy eating (and enough but not too much alcohol).”

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Tell us about a development in your field that surprised you the most this year?

“Hearing from a review paper by Stefano DellaVigna and Elizabeth Linos that nudge units are not employing defaults as nudges."

DellaVigna, S., & Linos, E. (2020). RCTs to Scale: Comprehensive Evidence from Two Nudge Units. Working Paper, UC Berkeley. See paper here

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What’s your favourite nudge?

“Influencing the order of processing, which can be done in a number of ways, and feeds into Query Theory processes, see my talk."

Query theory is a memory-based model of constructive preferences. See Elke Weber and fellow Nudgestock speaker Eric Johnson’s paper here.

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What is the piece of work you are most proud of?

“Sophie’s choice, unfair question, but okay, Query Theory it is.”

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And finally, tell us a fact we wouldn’t know about you…

“My first career choice was to study Oenology [the science and study of wine and winemaking], only nixed when I discovered that (at the time) everyone who studied it in Germany had a few vineyards at home,”

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Nudgestock Global session title: Why defaults rock and labels matter: Query theory and choice architecture

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