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Tali Sharot

Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London and Current Visiting Professor at MIT

Tali Sharot is a leading expert on human decision-making, optimism and emotion. A neuroscientist by trade, Sharot combines research in psychology, behavioral economics and neuroscience to reveal the forces that shape our decisions, beliefs and inaccurate expectations of the future and how those can be altered (or sustained).

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Travels From: Massachusetts | Fee Range: $15,000 - $25,000

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The current crisis has forced people to change the way they work, live and interact. How can leaders help their teams thrive and adapt to the “new normal”? What are the likely obstacles workers face and how can they be overcome? How can we best navigate stress, anxiety, uncertainty and a restricted sense of agency?  Does the crisis bring with it an opportunity to evolve? When under threat people come together; social cohesion is observed and people feel a new need to conduct meaningful work. This sense of “togetherness” and motivation can be harnessed. Research from behavioural economics, psychology and neuroscience, provides useful insight into what people are going through and how to move forward successfully at work and at home

A major goal of managers and companies is to induce behavioral change. We want to influence the actions of our clients, employees and colleagues in positive ways. Sharot has advised some of the world largest companies, including Pepsi, Bank of America and Prudential, on inducing behavioural change. In this engaging, thoughtful and humours presentation Sharot shares which factors – according to empirical findings – have the largest impact on peoples’ actions, and why. Using her own cutting-edge science she explains how we can use innate human tendencies to nudge people in the right direction, and which commonly used approaches often back-fire. The audience learn powerful practical applications for inducing change and gains a deeper understanding of human behaviour.

Making good decisions is key to the success of any company and a critical skill for leaders and investors. Yet, making wise choices, whether regarding finances, business or health, is difficult. We now know that human decision-making is rife with bias; from over-confidence to irrational optimism and future discounting. The good news is that understanding where people go wrong enables us to improve the decision-making process. Sharot occupies a unique spot at the intersection of behavioural economics, neuroscience and psychology. From this rare seat Sharot integrates up-to-date research in decision science and transforms this knowledge into practical insights. In this lively talk Sharot helps the audience identify systematic decision-making errors and offers methods for corrections and improvement.

Part of our daily job as humans is to affect others; we advise our clients, guide our patients, teach our children and inform our online followers. Yet, science shows we systematically fall on to suboptimal habits when trying to change others’ beliefs – from insisting the other is wrong to exerting control. Based on her award-winning book, The Influential Mind, internationally acclaimed behavioral neuroscientist, Tali Sharot, explains how an attempt to alter beliefs will be successful only if it is well-matched with the core elements that govern how we think and feel. By understanding the minds and brains of those around us, we become better at advising and communicating information.

As our world is rapidly changing, companies and governments are occupied with the question of what the future holds. Imagining the future is a marvellous ability that can foster creativity and innovation. But our capacity to think about the future is also constrained – by the past, by what we hope will be true and by our current beliefs. In this talk, Sharot shares what science tells us about the human ability for “mental time travel”; how we can use this skill to our advantage avoiding poor planning and systematic mispredictions. Sharot builds on her pioneering discoveries in this area, described in her book ‘The Optimism Bias’, to explain how we can better prepare for, and shape, the future, today.

Biography

Award-winning author and acclaimed Professor, Tali Sharot is a leading expert on decision-making and emotion. Professor Sharot divides her time between MIT and University College London where she directs the Affective Brain Lab. Sharot’s thought-provoking insights have helped organizations induce behavioural change, create decision-making policies, and shift beliefs.

Sharot’s ground-breaking work at the intersection of behavioral economics, psychology and neuroscience has been used by businesses to improve leadership skills, rethink messaging and refine strategy. Sharot is known for delivering engaging talks that are simultaneously lively and informative – explaining deep ideas about human behaviour in a simple way and highlighting how those insights can be implemented in a range of fields including finance, marketing, health and public policy. Her books – The Influential Mind: What the Brain Reveals About Our Power to Change Others and The Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain – have been widely praised, including by the New York Times, Time magazine, Forbes, The Huffington Post and more. Professor Sharot has been a guest on CNN, The Today Show, MSNBC, co-presented BBC’s Science Club and spoke at TED.

Her speaking audiences also include Google, Microsoft, The European Parliament, Goldman Sachs, Prudential, Citibank, Deloitte & Touche, Johnson & Johnson and the World Economic Forum, among many others. She has written for top publications including TIME magazine, The Guardian, The Washington Post and the New York Times.

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