Carsten Murawski

Carsten Murawski

Carsten Murawski

Principal Investigator

Associate Professor, Department of Finance, The University of Melbourne
Honorary Fellow, Brain and Mental Health Lab, Monash University

Carsten Murawski uses laboratory experiments to study individual decision-making, in particular its neurobiological basis, as well as variation in decision-making between individuals and within individuals over time. Most of his work focuses on problem solving (optimisation), learning about uncertainty, social interaction and meta-decision making. In 2012, together with Stefan Bode (MSPS), Carsten set up the Decision Neuroscience Lab, a collaboration between the Faculty of Business and Economics and the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences for interdisciplinary research on decision-making. In 2016, together with Peter Bossaerts, he set up the Brain, Mind & Markets Laboratory.

A primary area of Carsten’s current research is the role of complexity in decision-making. Together with Peter Bossaerts, he has applied concepts from computer science to quantify complexity of decisions. This research draws on methods from economics, neurobiology and computer science. He has shown that biological resource constraints can explain human behaviour in the face of complexity, including well-documented behavioural biases. In another strand of research, he is investigating the strategies humans use to solve complex problems and how human problem solving can be improved.

Carsten is also currently a co-investigator on a number of research projects investigating the effects of various mental illnesses on decision-making. Together with colleagues in the Brain and Mental Health Lab at Monash University and the Melbourne Neurospsychiatry Centre, he is currently studying reward and risk processing in gambling disorder as well as obsessive-compulsive disorder, using an array of research techniques from economics, neuropsychology, neuroimaging and genetics.

In 2015, Carsten was one of the co-initiators of Street Finance, a new program developed by the Faculty of Business and Economics and the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. The program aims to improve financial behavior and outcomes of young Victorians at an important time of transition from adolescence to adulthood, on the verge of making many major financial decisions. The core of the program is a final-year undergraduate subject in the Bachelor of Commerce. Students enrolled in the subject develop and subsequently deliver lessons on basic financial knowledge in Victorian high schools.

Prior to joining The University of Melbourne Carsten was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Zurich. He has been a visiting researcher at New York University and at Columbia University, New York and has taught at undergraduate and graduate level at The University of Melbourne, the University of Zurich and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich. He was trained in investment banking at JP Morgan in New York and has spent several years in the finance industry. Carsten holds a PhD from the University of Zurich, Switzerland and a Master’s degree from the University of Bayreuth, Germany.

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