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USC Marshall Faculty Wins NSF CAREER Award to Study Nascent Field of Neurofinance

March 29, 2018

Cary Frydman, assistant professor of finance and business economics, has received a five-year grant from the National Science Foundation to fund his research on neurofinance, an emerging field of study at the intersection of finance, neuroscience and psychology.

The NSF’s most prestigious award in support of early-career faculty, the grant will enable Frydman, one of the first scholars in the field, to expand not only his research program, but also to develop an undergraduate course on neurofinance.

“It’s not typical to find neuroscience and psychology in a finance program." - Cary Frydman, assistant professor of finance and business economics

“I have to give credit to FBE and Marshall for support of my work,” Frydman said. “It’s not typical to find neuroscience and psychology in a finance program. I’m gratified that the NSF shares my excitement for this type of non-traditional research and has provided the opportunity to help expand the discipline of neurofinance.”

Frydman’s project, “The Systematic Instability of Risk Preferences in Economic Decision-Making,” explores human behavior and risk-taking. He will use the CAREER award to establish a laboratory to collect direct measures of attention. A team will conduct a variety of experiments using eye-tracking, neural data, and mathematical modeling of behavior and decision processes. In the second phase of the study, Frydman and his team will conduct field studies to test the validity of the laboratory findings.

“Ultimately,” he said, “the goal of this work is to integrate research on attention into standard economic analyses.”

Frydman joined the faculty of USC Marshall in 2012 after earning his Ph.D. in economics from CalTech. In addition to his teaching and research, he is currently an associate editor for the Review of Finance.