Center Origins

In spring 2015, an anonymous gift launched the Daniel Kahneman and Anne Treisman Center for Behavioral Science & Public Policy at Princeton, enabling the University to strengthen its leading role in this emerging field and improve the development of effective policymaking.

The lead donation comes from a Princeton parent who has long been an admirer of the work of Kahneman, a Nobel laureate, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology Emeritus at the University, and a professor of psychology and public affairs emeritus; and Treisman, Princeton’s James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Psychology Emerita.  Other generous donors have since contributed toward an endowed chair and other center research expenses.

For nearly two decades, the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, home of the Center, has developed an array of research and teaching initiatives in the area of behavioral applications to policy involving faculty members from the departments of psychology and economics, as well as sociology, politics, and other disciplines. The Center builds on the research that earned Kahneman, currently a senior scholar in the Wilson School, the Nobel Prize in economic sciences in 2002. The work integrated insights from psychological research into economics, particularly concerning decision making under uncertainty.

Daniel Kahneman

Daniel Kahneman

Anne Treisman

Anne Treisman

Eldar Shafir

Eldar Shafir, Inaugural Center Director