ECON Research Highlight

Rationalizing self-defeating behaviors: theory and evidence

The economics community was abuzz recently in anticipation of the Nobel Peace Prize, which was awarded to Paul R. Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson for their work on auction theory. More is happening in the field, however, as BYU’s Dr. Olga Stoddard, Dr. Lars Lefgren, and Dr. John Stovall had their paper accepted into the Journal of Health Economics.

Their paper, “Rationalizing self-defeating behaviors: theory and evidence”, seeks to answer why individuals engage in self-harm; how these people, when trapped by multiple competing problems, experience the apathy of depression or inaction They hypothesized that individuals can only handle experiencing a certain amount of “latent stimuli”. They are excited with the news that this important research will now be published for others to study.  

            Check out the full article: 

School of Family Life Faculty Peter Reschke Receives Honors from the International Congress of Infant Studies

Peter Reschke, Assistant Professor of Human Development in the School of Family Life, was recently awarded the International Congress of Infant Studies (ICIS) 2020 Outstanding Dissertation Honorable Mention. 

Reschke’s work focuses on interpersonal development in infancy, and, as Reschke explains, “creates a theoretical framework to merge two large areas of study: emotion understanding­—the ability to understand others’ emotions—and social cognition—the ability to understand others’ mental states.” He was recognized for three of his dissertation chapters that have been published in well-respected peer-reviewed academic journals. 

Reschke is a BYU alumnus, graduating with a double major in Psychology and Music, and a minor in Spanish in December 2011. Reschke went on to study Psychological Science at University of California, Merced, where he earned his PhD in May 2018. Reschke then went on to teach at BYU, where he currently works as Assistant Professor at the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences. 

Speaking of his passion for this work, Reschke says, “I chose the field of Human Development because there is so much we don’t know about the developing minds of children, especially infants. When do babies start to reason about and predict others’ behaviors? How do babies learn to understand and interpret others’ emotions? Does what we learn about babies and these abilities matter in the long run? How can parents and caregivers use this knowledge to improve their interactions with children and infants? All these questions and more fascinate me!” 

The College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences is proud of Reschke and all the outstanding academic research and literature being produced by our faculty and students. 

You can read his three award-winning articles by following the links below: