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Abninder Litt

SSHRC William E. Taylor Fellowship

Abninder Litt   "My research is looking at how emotions influence people's decisions: from the level of individual brain processes to these really large social trends that can move millions. How do people's emotions influence their decisions without them even being aware of it?"

Based on a stellar undergraduate career in computer and cognitive sciences at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Abninder Litt is quickly gaining a reputation as a talented interdisciplinary researcher. His research has already been published in peer-reviewed journals, presented at academic conferences, and included in a chapter for the forthcoming Cambridge Handbook of Computational Psychology from Cambridge University Press. 

As winner of the 2007 William E. Taylor Fellowship, Litt will be pursuing a PhD in marketing at California’s Stanford University, where he has also won a prestigious Jaedicke Fellowship. His planned program of research will draw on neuroscience, psychology and consumer studies to look at the role of emotions in decision-making.

From how brain chemistry influences brand loyalty to how emotional events affect financial decision-making, Litt’s research will have a direct impact on the way products and services are marketed to the public. As well, his investigations into why some people consistently make impulsive and irresponible choices may influence theories and treatments related to addictions, criminal behaviour and other dangerous activities.