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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

The Art of Choosing: How Does Anyone Make Vital and Mundane Choices?

A customer at an Apple store asks for the latest iPhone in black, but then suddenly changes his preference to white when he sees everyone else buying black . . .  Although the child knows she shouldn't press the big red button, she finds her hand inching toward it. . . . In some cultures, young men and women who decide to marry know that they will see each other in person for the first time on their wedding day.  How did these people make their choices? How do any of us make vital and mundane choices?

In the next NJIT Technology and Society Forum, Sheena Iyengar will address these questions and suggest answers drawn from her discipline-spanning research. The public is invited to the free talk from 3-4:30 p.m. in the Jim Wise Theatre.

Ivengar will explore the complex relationship between choice and freedom, and why one doesn't always complement the other. She will explain how too much choice can overwhelm us, and how our choices are shaped by forces both obvious and subtle.

Iyengar is the inaugural S.T. Lee Professor of Business at Columbia Business School, with a joint appointment in the department of psychology, and research director at the Jerome A. Chazen Institute of International Business. Iyengar’s primary research interest is how people perceive and respond to choice, research that has garnered honors which include the Best Dissertation Award from the Society of Experimental Social Psychology in 1998 and the Presidential Early Career Award in 2002.

Popular media such as The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fortune and Time magazines, the BBC and National Public Radio regularly cite Iyengar’s work. She recently presented her insights into the complexities of choices we make each day in her first book, The Art of Choosing.

For more information contact Jay Kappraff, kappraff@adm.njit.edu or 973-596-3490 or visit the NJIT Technology and Society Forum on the Web at http://tsf.njit.edu. Previous Forum presentations are available at http://itunes.njit.edu; search for “Technology and Society Forum.”

NJIT, New Jersey's science and technology university, enrolls approximately 10,000 students pursuing bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in 120 programs. The university consists of six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, College of Architecture and Design, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, College of Computing Sciences and Albert Dorman Honors College. U.S. News & World Report's 2012 Annual Guide to America's Best Colleges ranked NJIT in the top tier of national research universities. NJIT is internationally recognized for being at the edge in knowledge in architecture, applied mathematics, wireless communications and networking, solar physics, advanced engineered particulate materials, nanotechnology, neural engineering and e-learning. Many courses and certificate programs, as well as graduate degrees, are available online through the Division of Continuing Professional Education.