Experts explore how social networks influence behavior and decision-making

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Scholars and social media experts convened at Harvard Law School Feb. 6 to examine the ways in which electronic interactive media can sway human decision-making and behavior.

The conference, “Social Media and Behavioral Economics,” was sponsored by Harvard Law School’s new Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy and created by the program’s director, Cass Sunstein ’78. Sunstein returned to the HLS faculty last August following three years in the Obama Administration as administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget.

While serving in the OMB, Sunstein was known for trying to make the federal regulatory system “as sensible as possible” by applying cost-benefit analyses and assessments of human behavior to his reviews of proposed governmental rules. It was an approach in keeping with his previous work, such as the 2008 book, “Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness,” co-written with behavioral economist Richard H. Thaler, in which Sunstein has advocated that low-cost solutions are often better options than government regulation.

Read more on the Harvard Law School website.