Shabnam Mousavi died unexpectedly on October 12, 2023, at the age of 55. We have lost our long-time colleague, collaborator and brilliant spirit who sparked much creativity and original thinking in our field. Shabnam’s academic life began as an electrical engineer before she moved on to a PhD in economics and a PhD in statistics. She was a faculty at the Department of Statistics at Penn State University 2005-2008, the Department of Finance at Georgia State University, 2009-2012, and Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School, 2012-2017. She has been affiliated with the Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition (ABC) at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development since 2007 and a resident researcher at the ABC from 2015 till 2017. She also worked with the Harding Center for Risk Literacy and the Center for History of Emotions at the Max Planck Institute. From 2018-2020, she was President of the Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Economics.
vision was to connect both behavioral economics and behavioral finance with the
study of heuristic decision making under uncertainty. In the very spirit of
Herbert Simon, she worked hard to reorient these fields from the focus on
logical rationality toward a focus on ecological rationality, and from optimizing
models toward developing realistic models of satisficing behavior. To this end,
she was coauthor and coeditor of the Routledge Handbook of Behavioral
Economics (2016), The Behavioral Finance Revolution (Elgar 2018), A
Fast and Frugal Finance (Academic Press 2019), Financial Education and
Risk Literacy (Elgar 2021), Artificial Intelligence and Financial
Behavior (Elgar 2023) and the Elgar Companion of Herbert Simon (Elgar
Shabnam connected the
academic world of behavioral economics and finance with international economic
and financial institutions. Among others, she served on the steering committee
of the Bank of Italy BEFAIRLY initiative, the advisory boards of Evonomics and
the Ethics Labs of the Technical University of Munich, and most recently worked
as a senior researcher at CENTAI (Center for AI) in Turin.
Shabnam was a force of nature: firm in her convictions
yet always open to new ideas, and resolute in her pursuit of innovation. She
had a rare gift for establishing instant personal connections with people from
all perspectives and persuasions, and was whole-heartedly dedicated to her
family and friendships. Her memory will continue to inspire those of us who
were fortunate to have known her, and her work will live on and bear fruit
among its readers.
We miss a
wise voice, a passionate and loyal friend, and a unique human being.
Gerd Gigerenzer, Shyam Sunder and Riccardo Viale
Shabnam Mousavi’s Celebration of Life
like to invite you to a hybrid (in-person and online) event for Shabnam
Mousavi’s Celebration of Life in Atlanta, Georgia, USA which is set for Sunday
November 5th, 1:00pm local time (EST). Please see the attached file. The
ceremony will be held at the Persian Cultural Center of Atlanta (a.k.a. Kanoon)
located at 3146 Reps Miller Rd NW, Norcross, GA 30071.
of you who are attending online, here is the information about the scheduled
Tuesday, 20th October 2020 – from 4:00 pm to 6:30 pm Museum of Saving, Via San Francesco d’Assisi 8/A, Turin (IT)
This international seminar will represent the occasion for the presentation of the book published by Elgar entitled “Financial Education and Risk Literacy” forming part of BEFAIRLY – Behavioural Financial Regulation and Policy Series- an initiative started in 2017 by Herbert Simon Society in collaboration with the Bank of Italy and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development.
book explores the relationship between financial literacy, financial education
and regulation, and risk literacy providing a broad range of different
The seminar will
debate on the social and cultural determinants of financial education, the role
of the banking system in promoting financial literacy, how governments and
regulatory authorities are dealing with financial education programmes in
role of technology, and the effect of financial literacy and risk perception on
from different methodological backgrounds, the seminar will offer a rich and
multifaceted debate exploring theory and empirical evidence, combining
traditional approaches linked to the characteristics of financial markets with
the insights drawn from behavioural research showing how this can create better
The seminar will
include the interventions of international experts as keynote speakers such as Prof.
Hersh Shefrin (University of Santa Clara) and Ralph Hertwig (Max Planck
discussion will follow on the characteristics of behaviours that might affect
the policy maker’s mix of financial education, choice architecture, and
regulation as tools to help consumer financial behavior. Finally,
will be provided by Prof. Elsa Fornero (University of Turin).
Gerd Gigerenzer (Harding Center for Risk Literacy, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin)
Konstantinos Katsikopoulos (University of Southampton)
Marco Fasoli (Università di Milano-Bicocca)
In recent years, digital technologies have become incredibly pervasive in our daily life. This process has brought about many advantages, but it has also changed numerous human cognitive practices in different ways, leading to the rise of new problems and challenges. For example, in the wake of an ever-growing presence of digital technologies we are constantly called to manage a staggering amount of information, communications and notifications (the so-called “information overload”) and we keep being interrupted, dividing our attention across several tasks at the same time. By providing new ways of storing and retrieving information, digital technologies have modified the function and the role of human memory. In general, digital technologies have changed the role of many cognitive abilities in our daily life, making some of them more necessary while rendering others seemingly obsolete. One of the crucial abilities required by the digital world is the ability to evaluate information and to discriminate between real and fake news online.
Against this background, cognitive and behavioural scientists are called to help policy-makers understand how digital technologies are reshaping our minds. In this sense, it becomes necessary to understand which cognitive abilities would be required in the digital world to cope with information overload or to debunk fake news, and how we can facilitate the development of such abilities among internet users. Furthermore, there is the need to understand which heuristics and biases occur when we navigate the internet, as well as how our behaviour could be nudged through big data, for the purpose of establishing some safeguards for modern societies against any improper uses of such data.
Main Special Issue Topics
Fake news, epistemic attitudes, and cognitive abilities.
Heuristics, ecological rationality and digital decision making.
Biases and heuristics in the digital world.
Big data and their cognitive, epistemic, and ethical implications.
The Behavioural sciences in E-Commerce and Advertising.
The digital nudging and Democracy.
Attention, task switching, and multitasking.
Reading and digital reading in the digital era.
Digital well-being: theoretical perspectives and empirical insights.
Cognitive artefacts, cognitive techniques, and digital technologies.
Cognitive affordances and cognitive properties of digital technologies.
Digital and cognitive persuasion in gamification: ethical issues.
Social networks, social comparison, and digital communication.
Digital stress and information overload.
Emotions and emotional intelligence in the digital world.
The design of addiction of digital technologies.
Fintech, Bot and Artificial Intelligence in Digital Financial Decision making.
we are pleased to show you the photos taken during the visit of Dr. Valeria Castoldi, the executive manager of HSS, at the prestigious Tsinghua University, Beijing.
Professor Qian from the School of Social Sciences, offered Dr. Castoldi the opportunity to give a talk about the study on the effect of nudging on blood donation, coordinated by Prof. Viale and Prof. Macchi at the Bicocca University-Milan.
It was possible also to have a meeting with Professor Luan from the Chinese Academy of Sciences – Beijing to discuss an agreement between HSS, University of Milan – Bicocca, Tsinghua University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The intercultural collaboration could provide new hint on the research on Behavioral Sciences!
Thank again Prof. Qian and Prof. Luan for the significant experience!