Findings from the neurosciences and behavioral decision research have the potential to reshape beliefs regarding human cognition and more specifically human decision making. The past decades have already seen an increased effort of integrating such findings into, for example, economic theories. Exchanges and cross-influences among different academic disciplines are part of the scientific process. It is a different question if and how descriptive theories and mechanistic insights into human behavior spill into real life – for example, how such findings could inform policy making. Can and should such findings influence policy choices and the design and application of regulatory approaches?
The purpose of this chapter is twofold. On one hand, it offers a brief summary of the current discussion of the preceding question by academics and policy makers. The chapter also sets out to explore currently existing practical approaches of integrating descriptive theories of human decision making into policy making. What is the broader context of (and the narrative surrounding) the integration of such findings into policy making? What are the implications for social neuroeconomics?