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Kevin A. McCabe, PhD
Experiments on Trust and Reciprocity: From Brains to Virtual Worlds
Professor, Economics, Law and Neuroscience, and Director, Center for the Study of Neuroeconomics, George Mason University
2 Riverside Circle, Roanoke, VA 24016
Economists understand the trust relationship as fundamental to economic exchange. Trust relationships help mitigate some of the social risk of depending on and interacting with others. In studying trust Dr. McCabe and his colleagues use behavioral experiments to study the determinants of trust and reciprocity in stylized games. They evaluate the roles played by social history and reputations in determining behavior. Neuroeconomics experiments allow them to test computational hypotheses on the determinants of behavior. The role of shared mental states in managing trust relationships is also evaluated. Dr. McCabe will also discuss virtual world experiments that allow testing of the robustness of trust relationships in more complex, but also more ecologically rational, environments.