Motives and modulators of human decision making
What drives us to trust someone we just met? Did we eat spaghetti for lunch because we saw our colleague eat spaghetti? Can we become happier when we are nicer to our neighbors? How does the content of our breakfast have anything to do with our social interactions throughout the day?
Research from different disciplines such as economics, psychology and neuroscience have attempted to investigate the motives and modulators of human decision making. Our decisions can be flexibly modulated by the different experiences we have in our daily lives. These modulations can occur through our social networks, through the impact of our own behavior on the social environment, but also simply by the food we have eaten.
Here, I will present a series of recent studies from my lab in which we shed light on the psychological, neural and metabolic motives and modulators of human decision making.
Soyoung Q Park is a joint professor of Decision Neuroscience and Nutrition at the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin (Neuroscience Research Center) and German Institute for Human Nutrition (DIfE – Leibniz Alliances). Her research focuses on the metabolic, social and neural mechanisms underlying human decision making, with the ultimate goal to develop novel intervention strategies for its optimization. Here, the reward-based decisions, such as consumer decisions and decisions in social contexts are the focus. She studied Psychology at the Institute of Technology Berlin and received her PhD in Neuroscience from the Free University of Berlin, during her stay as a stipend holder at the Berlin School of Mind and Brain at the Humboldt University. After her PhD, she moved to Switzerland for a postdoctoral research training at the department of economics at the University of Zurich. In the last five years, she has been working as a professor for social psychology and decision neuroscience at the University of Lübeck, where she was the head of the Psychology degree program (B.A. and M.A.).