Drazen Prelec

Faculty

Drazen Prelec

Support Staff

Get in Touch

Title

About

Academic Groups

Academic Area

Drazen Prelec is the Digital Equipment Corp. Leaders for Global Operations Professor of Management and a Professor of Management Science and Economics at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Prelec holds appointments in the Department of Economics and in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. His research deals with the psychology and neuroscience of decision-making, including behavioral economics and neuroeconomics, risky choice, time discounting, self-control, and consumer behavior. He works on both the development of normative decision theory and the exploration of the empirical failures of that theory, using behavioral and fMRI methods. A current project on “self-signaling” tries to understand the strange power of non-causal motivation—when individuals favor actions that are diagnostic of good outcomes, even though these actions have little or no causal force. Diagnostic motivation is real, and is probably essential for human self-control. Its cognitive and neural mechanisms are not well understood, however. A second “Bayesian truth serum” project deals with scoring systems for evaluating individual and collective judgment in knowledge domains where no external truth criterion is available. Examples would be long-range forecasts, political or historical inferences, and artistic or legal interpretations. Prelece is developing scoring systems that reward honest judgments and that can identify truth even when majority opinion is wrong.

He was a Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows, and has received a number of distinguished research awards, including the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship.

Prelec holds an AB in applied mathematics from Harvard College and a PhD in experimental psychology from Harvard University.

Publications

"What Makes Dynamic Strategic Problems Difficult? Evidence from an Experimental Study."

Rahmandad, Hazhir, Jerker Denrell, and Dražen Prelec. Strategic Management Journal. Forthcoming.

"Neural Mechanisms of Credit Card Spending."

Banker, Sachin, Derek Dunfield, Alex Huang, and Drazen Prelec. Scientific Reports Vol. 11, (2021): 4070.

"Cheaters, Liars, or Both? A New Classification of Dishonesty Profiles."

Pascual-Ezama, David, Dražen Prelec, Adrián Muñoz, and Beatriz Gil-Gómez de Liaño. Psychological Science Vol. 31, No. 9 (2020): 1097-1106.

"Incentive Compatible Surveys via Posterior Probabilities."

Cvitanić, Jakša, Dražen Prelec, Sonja Radas, and Hrvoje Šikić. SIAM Theory of Probability and Its Applications Vol. 65, No. 2 (2020): 292-321.

"Whose data can we trust: How meta-predictions can be used to uncover credible respondents in survey."

Radas, Sonja, and Dražen Prelec. PLOSOne Vol. 14, No. 12 (2019): e0225432.

"Honesty via Choice-Matching."

Cvitanić, Jakša, Dražen Prelec, Blake Riley, and Benjamin Tereick. American Economic Review: Insights Vol. 1, No. 2 (2019): 179-192.

Load More

Recent Insights

MIT Sloan Experts

How credit cards activate the reward center of our brains and drive spending

As credit cards have become a popular form of payment method, researchers have noticed an interesting trend. People tend to spend more when using credit cards than cash. Not only are they more likely to buy something at a higher price, they also are likely to give larger tips and make more impulse buys.

Read More
Ideas Made to Matter

Credit cards increase the pleasure in purchasing

Study of brain activity finds using a credit card engages brain networks connected to anticipation and craving.

Read Article
Load More

Media Highlights