Petrie and McCabe Featured in Latest Mason Spirit Magazine

News | November 10, 2010

Ragan Petrie and Kevin McCabe, both faculty members at ICES, discussed their research in the Mason Spirit.

Petrie, who is also Associate Professor of Economics at George Mason University, told the magazine about how the

methods of experimental economics have allowed [her] to answer many of the research questions [she has] bouncing around in [her] head…To answer those questions, Ragan mixes laboratory and field experiments. Her interests range from beauty and gender to bargaining and crime.

McCabe, who, in addition to being an ICES faculty member and a Professor of Economics, is also the Director of the Center for the Study of Neuroeconomics at George Mason University, gave a brief history of neuroeconomics, a field he helped to develop:

‘We were looking at individual behavior and realized there wasn’t a really good [scientific] model for it,’ he says. The research led McCabe and his colleagues to explore evolutionary and cognitive psychology and then to cognitive and social neuroscience.

‘In exploring, we realized that this whole new field was starting to get at the biological foundations of human cognition,’ McCabe says. ‘It became obvious that if we were going to build a scientific model of the economic behavior of individuals, it would need to be based on the same biological model that neuroscientists were exploring.’

And the field of neuroeconomics was born.

For the full interviews with Ragan Petrie and Kevin McCabe, as well as some of their colleagues from the Department of Economics at George Mason University, please read “The Wonderful World of Masonomics” by Colleen Kearney Rich in the November issue of Mason Spirit.

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