David Brooks Archives

I co-taught an experimental graduate seminar with one of my colleagues at Ohio State University in the early nineties where we explored what policy could learn from research on how people actually behaved, thought and decided. I taught the first half of the seminar by deconstructing various policy and regulatory debates (dominated by lawyers and economists) to lay bare the fundamental (and unexamined) assumptions regarding human behavior. She taught the second half, talking about how behavioral research could challenge or confirm those assumptions. This then led to multiple funded projects and dissertations that she directed on policy-relevant social science research. It was possibly because of this “priming” (a key concept in contemporary behavioral research) that I was unquestioningly amenable to the suggestion to study how poor people actually used ICTs that came from the research planning sessions we conducted as part of the launch of LIRNEasia in September 2004.