George Loewenstein-Quality of Life Technology Center - Carnegie Mellon University

George Loewenstein

loewenstein photo

Department of Social and Decision Sciences
Carnegie Mellon University
Porter Hall, 319D

George Loewenstein is professor of economics and psychology at Carnegie Mellon. He received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1985 and since then has held academic positions at The University of Chicago and Carnegie Mellon, and fellowships at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, The Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, The Russell Sage Foundation and The Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin. His research focuses on applications of psychology to economics, and his specific interests include decision making over time, bargaining and negotiations, psychology and health, law and economics, the psychology of adaptation, the role of emotion in decision making, the psychology of curiosity, conflict of interest, and "out of control" behaviors such as impulsive violent crime and drug addiction.
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"I have a long-standing interest in happiness and quality of life, including aspects related to aging. I've done a lot of research on how to measure quality of life, and on its determinants. Sometimes, I find, surprisingly small changes can have a major positive impact on one's quality of life, while major events, such as becoming chronically ill, can have a surprisingly small impact. Perhaps exactly because some of these effects and non-effects are surprising, people often mispredict what will make them happy and unhappy and fail to take the actions that would most improve their quality of life. All of these issues are important when it comes to technology aimed at the elderly. To know whether a technology is beneficial we need to be able to measure its impact on quality of life. And to understand why people do or do not make use of available technologies, we need to understand their intuitions regarding what types of technologies will improve their quality of life."