NYU has established the Institute for the Interdisciplinary Study of Decision Making (IISDM), which will draw upon the university’s broad expertise in the field in order to develop new insights into economics, business, urban life, and other areas.

IISDM serves as the successor institution to the Center for Neuroeconomics, which is being enlarged by this change to encompass decision-making research across NYU’s many schools and campuses.

“Our goal is to better understand the mechanisms, predict the impacts, and shape the policies that will define the future of decision-making scholarship,” says Paul Glimcher, a professor in the Center for Neural Science and IISDM’s director. “We hope to define a new kind of decision science that will influence not only international academic scholarship, but also medical practice, financial markets, and the social policies that shape our urban setting.”

Glimcher notes that the availability of large data sets—and the means to process them—creates previously unimaginable ways to understand human decision making and, with it, the potential to better inform practices in both the public and private sectors.

Future research could include understanding the forces that drive lottery ticket purchases, what prompts risk-taking behaviors by cab drivers, or identifying the intersections where pedestrians are most likely to jaywalk—and why.

IISDM will draw upon resources at existing NYU schools and centers—the Center for Urban Science and Progress, the Stern School of Business, and the Langone Medical Center—as well as the Faculty of Arts and Science and the global academic centers and campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai.

“With access to the massive data streams flowing through the City of New York, IISDM has the opportunity to test models and policies developed by scholars at a previously unimaginable scale,” adds Glimcher. “Moreover, NYU’s unique assets offer an unparalleled opportunity to unite scholars studying decision making in a synergy that would be possible nowhere else.”


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