Lara Aknin’s primary research interests focus upon the antecedents and consequences of happiness and prosocial behaviour. Some of her recent work has examined perceptions of the money and happiness relationship and whether people reap greater happiness from spending money on others, called prosocial spending, than when spending the same amount of money on themselves. Her research has found that generous spending leads to higher levels of happiness than spending money on oneself, both in North America and in various other countries around the world.
Max H. Bazerman is Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and the Co-Director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Max's research focuses on decision making, negotiation, and ethics. He is the author, co-author, or co-editor of twenty books (including The Power of Noticing, Simon and Schuster, 2014; and Blind Spots [with Ann Tenbrunsel], Princeton University Press, 2011) and over 200 research articles and chapters.
Fiery Cushman is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, where he directs the Moral Psychology Research Laboratory. Cushman's research aims to organize the astonishing complexity of moral judgment around basic functional principles. The ultimate goal is to use the moral domain to understand phenomena of more general importance: the balance between learned and innate contributions to cognition; the human capacity to explain, predict and evaluate others’ behavior; the relationship between automaticity and control; and the architecture of learning and decision-making in a social context.
His research awards include the Stanton Prize by the Society for Philosophy and Psychology and the Daniel M. Wegner Theoretical Innovation Prize by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. His teaching awards include the Henry Merrit Wriston Fellowship, Brown University’s highest recognition for pre-tenure faculty.
Christine Exley is an assistant professor of business administration in the Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit at Harvard Business School. She teaches the Negotiation course in the MBA elective curriculum.
Professor Exley's research explores how behavioral motivations often have nuanced implications in the realm of prosocial behavior, with a particular focus on charitable giving and volunteer decisions. Prior to joining HBS, she received her PhD in Economics from Stanford University and co-founded www.wagaroo.com to combat the inefficiency in the pet adoption market and help dogs find homes.
Caroline Fiennes (formerly Newhouse) advises people and companies on giving well to charities. She is one of the few people whose work has featured in OK! magazine and The Lancet. Her book, It Ain’t What You Give, It’s The Way That You Give It, has been called "The Freakonomics of the charity world."
She is Director of Giving Evidence, a company which specialises in ‘advice on giving, based on evidence‘. She frequently speaks and writes in the press, and has been an award-winning Chief Executive – of climate change charity Global Cool, which promotes green living. She has advised donors including the Emirates Foundation in UAE, Eurostar, ERM(Environmental Resources Management: a global environmental consultancy), the Ashden Awards, the Big Lottery Fund, the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts, professional tennis players, the Private Equity Foundation, BBC Children in Need, Booz & Co., and Morgan Stanley. This work has spanned environment, health, education, international development, children’s issues and other areas.
She is on boards of the US Center for Effective Philanthropy, of the world’s largest charity rating agency Charity Navigator, Evidence Aid (part of The Cochrane Collaboration), is the Corporation of London’s City Philanthropy Coach. She works with Innovations for Poverty Action and the University of Chicago.
Joshua D. Greene is Professor of Psychology, a member of the Center for Brain Science faculty, and the director of the Moral Cognition Lab at Harvard University. His research has focused on the psychology and neuroscience of moral judgment and decision-making. His broader interests cluster around the intersection of philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience.
In 2012, he was awarded the Stanton Prize by the Society for Philosophy and Psychology, and in 2013 he received Harvard’s Roslyn Abramson Award for teaching. He has been voted a “Favorite Professor” by several of Harvard College’s graduating classes.
Greene is the author of Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them.
Elizabeth Keenan is an assistant professor of business administration in the Marketing Unit at Harvard Business School. Elizabeth’s research focuses on barriers to and motivators of prosocial behavior, using a combination of field, laboratory, and online experimental methods. Her recent work investigates donors’ aversion to overhead spending by nonprofits, including its negative effects on the choice to give. A subset of Elizabeth’s research focuses on topics related to environmental sustainability, including drivers of green product choice, hotel towel reuse, and the underlying psychological processes involved in climate-change-related judgments.
Elizabeth earned her PhD in marketing at the Rady School of Management at the University of California, San Diego; an MAS in marine biodiversity and conservation, also at UC San Diego; and a BS in biology at Loyola Marymount University. Prior to her doctoral studies, she spent ten years in nonprofit management and education at the Aquarium of the Pacific.
David Rand is an associate professor of Psychology, Economics, and Management at Yale University, an member of the Yale Institute for Network Science, Institution for Social and Policy Studies, and Cognitive Sciences Program, and the director of Yale University’s Human Cooperation Laboratory as well as the Applied Cooperation Team that partners with organizations outside the academy to run field experiments. His research combines a range of theoretical and experimental methods in an effort to explain the high levels of cooperation that typify human societies, and to uncover ways to promote cooperation in situations where it is lacking. You can watch his Inspiring Yale 2016 talk "Human Cooperation" to learn more about his interdisciplinary approach to understanding human cooperation.
He was named to Wired magazine’s Smart List 2012 of “50 people who will change the world,” chosen as a 2012 PopTech Science Fellow, and awarded Yale's Arthur Greer Memorial Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Publication or Research in 2015.
Ashley Whillans is a PhD Candidate at the University of British Columbia. She is a UBC Public Scholar, and conducts research with non-profits, companies, and the government. In 2015, Ashley was named a Rising Star of Behavioural Science by the International Behavioural Exchange and the Behavioural Science & Policy Association.
The Life You Can Save is a movement of people fighting extreme poverty. We hold that an ethical life involves using some of our wealth and resources to save and improve the lives of those less fortunate than us.
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