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Collecting and choice: A model for life’s decisions

Collecting and choice: A model for life’s decisions: RSM Webinar: Date and time Tue 15 Dec 2020 from 6:00pm to 7:00pm

Shirley M. Mueller, M.D is a Past clinical and research neurologist at Indiana University. Now, she is an adjunct professor and passionate collector.

As a Neuroscientist and a collector, Shirly will discuss the fascinating way neurology and behavioral economics explain what collectors enjoy doing. In the season of gift giving, where we often consider what objects other people want, this talk will delight and inform.

Her book Inside the Head of a Collector. Neuropsychological Forces at Playpublished in 2019, has received rave reviews and will be briefly referenced during the webinar.  The book:

“Introduces neuro- and behavioral economics for collectors and art professions to help them understand their own decision making• Brings a unique collector’s perspective, providing insight for art dealers, collectors, and museum professionals. Includes artworks and objects that have never been published before• Chronicles the exhibit Elegance from the East: New Insights into Old Porcelain, which was one of the first museum exhibits to use a neuropsychological approach• Examines Order of Cincinnati fakes versus authentic articles, with photos to demonstrate. Collecting objects gives enormous pleasure to approximately one third of the population, providing such benefits as intellectual stimulation, the thrill of the chase, and leaving a legacy. On the other hand, the same pursuit can engender pain; for example, paying too much for an object, unknowingly buying a fake, or dealing with the frustrations of collection dispersal. Until recently, there was no objective way to enhance the positive (pleasure) aspects of collecting and minimize the negative (pain). Now, for the first time, scientific research in neuro- and behavioral economics gives us a way to turn this around. Neuroeconomics is the study of the biological foundation of economic thought, while behavioral economics incorporates insights from psychology and other social sciences into the examination of monetary behavior. By using examples from these disciplines, Shirley M. Mueller, MD, relates her own experiences as a serious collector and as a neuroscientist to examine different behavioral traits which characterize collectors. The contents of this book are cutting edge, unique and sure to get attention. Mueller breaks new ground in an area not previously explored. Her information is relevant not only for collectors, but also for colleges, and universities which teach collection management, plus museum staff who interact with collectors and dealers of objects desired by collectors. Heavily illustrated with ceramics from Mueller’s collection and packed with useful information, this book will become a required vital resource.” (amazon)

Shirley is a passionate collector and scholar of Chinese export porcelain. In both endeavors, Shirley Mueller has a long publication history focusing on neuroscience and porcelain. In her book, Inside the Head of a Collector: Neuropsychological Forces at Play, she combines her two passions, science, and art.

Delegates will gain an understanding of:

  • How collecting decisions mimic choice in life
  • The neuroeconomics of choice: pleasure, price, fear
  • The behavioural costs of choice: anchoring, unfairness, sunk cost
  • Why authenticity matters in art and other life transactions

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