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SBE 2020: Submission Detail

ID Number: 93
Title: SBE 2020: A Complete Theory of Human Behavior
Lead Author: Lo, Andrew W
Abstract: I propose the following grand challenge question for SBE 2020: can we develop a complete theory of human behavior that is predictive in all contexts? The motivation for this question is the fact that the different disciplines within SBE do have a common subject: Homo sapiens. Therefore, psychological, sociological, neuroscientific, and economic implications of human behavior should be mutually consistent. When they contradict each otheras they have in the context of financial decisionsthis signals important learning opportunities. By confronting and attempting to reconcile inconsistencies across disciplines, we develop a more complete understanding of human behavior than any single discipline can provide. The National Science Foundation can foster this process of consilience in at least four ways: (1) issuing RFPs around aspects of human behavior, not around disciplines; (2) holding annual conferences where PIs across NSF directorates present their latest research and their most challenging open questions; (3) organizing summer camps for NSF graduate fellowship recipients at the start of their graduate careers, where they are exposed to a broad array of research through introductory lectures by NSF PIs; and (4) broadening the NSF grant review process to include referees from multiple disciplines.
PDF: Lo_Andrew_93.pdf

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