Principal Investigator and Co-Director, Brain, Mind & Markets Laboratory
Carsten Murawski uses laboratory experiments to study individual decision-making, in particular its neurobiological basis. The current focus of his work is on determining in what ways information processing constraints in the brain affect decision-making, how they lead to phenomena such as cognitive biases and in what ways decision-making can be improved. He is particularly interested in complex problem solving, learning about uncertainty, social interaction and meta-decision making.
A primary area of Carsten’s current research is the role of complexity in decision-making. He is a pioneer in linking computational complexity theory with decision theory to identify and quantify resource requirements of decisions. 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 & Mental Health Research Hub at Monash University and the Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre, he is 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 program aimed at improving 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. The program was launched in 2015 and has reached over 1,500 high school students. More information about the program is available on the program page.
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.
Phone: +61 3 8344 9077
Office: Room 12.039, Level 12, The Spot, 198 Berkeley Street, Carlton