University of Minnesota Law School's Institute for Law and Rationality's Conference 

September 22, 2023, 9:00 am - September 23, 2023, 1:15 pm
Walter F. Mondale Hall
25 (NEW Room #)

University of Minnesota Law School
229 19th Ave South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States


Law aims to influence human behavior. Yet law has not done nearly enough to understand why people behave as they do.  This conference, focused on Joe Henrich’s book, "The WEIRDest People in the World: How the West Became Psychologically Peculiar and Particularly Prosperous," will discuss critically important determinants of behavior that can and should inform law and policymaking. 

In particular, an individualistic ethos clearly affects the extent to which people further their own interests, even at others’ expense. This manifests itself in many ways critical to law. It affects people’s conduct and views in a broad range of contexts, including the economy, religion, public health, public safety, national security and inequality. It affects people’s views as to how much to trust lawmakers, and what constitutes reliable sources of information. The speakers at this conference are in disparate fields: law, economics, psychology, anthropology, marketing, communications, neuroscience, and political science. Their talks will yield insights into how law and policymakers should—and should not—proceed. In these perilous and polarized times, such insights are urgently needed. 

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2023 | 9 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. (CT) | 7.75 Standard CLE Credits (code: #490836) 

8:30 to 9 am – Registration and Breakfast Refreshments

9 to 9:15 am – Welcome from Interim Dean Bill McGeveran and Professor Claire Hill

9:15 to 10 am – Keynote, Joe Henrich on “The WEIRDest People in the World, How the West Became Psychologically Peculiar and Particularly Prosperous” (.75 credits) 

10:15 am to 12 pm – Panel on Gender and Religion (June Carbone, moderator) (1.75 credits); Panelists: June Carbone, Mary Anne CaseAntara Haldar, Sara Lowes

12 to 1 pm – Lunch, and Talk by Bill Casebeer, “WEIRD Neurobiology: How Our Evolutionary History Normalizes Prosocial Human Behavior” (1 credit) 

1 to 2:45 pm – Panel on Individualism vs. Collectivism: Psychology and Culture (1) (Howard Lavine, moderator) (1.75 credits); Panelists: Dorsa Amir, Lasana Harris, Claire Hill, Howard Lavine, Thomas Talhelm  

3 to 5 pm – Panel on Individualism vs. Collectivism: Culture and Psychology (2) (Stavros Gadinis, moderator) (2 credits); Panelists: Avner Ben-ner, Matthew Bodie, Patrick Francois, Stavros Gadinis, Antara Haldar, Taisu Zhang  

5:10 to 5:45 pm – Talk by Kathleen Vohs, “Do Voting and Election Outcomes Predict Changes in Conspiracy Beliefs? Evidence from Two High-Profile U.S. Elections” (.5 credits) 

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2023 | 9 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. (CT) | 4 Standard CLE Credits (code: #490836) 

8:30 to 9 am – Registration and Breakfast Refreshments 

9 to 10:30 am – Panel on Crooks (Eugene Soltes, moderator) (1.5 credits); Panelists: Susanna Blumenthal , Michael Muthukrishna, Jed Rakoff, Eugene Soltes

10:45 am to 12:15 pm – Panel on the Uses and Abuses of Language (Panayiota Kendeou, moderator) (1.5 credits); Panelists: Ted Gibson, Eric Martinez, Claire Hill, Panayiota Kendeou, Asifa Majid, Taisu Zhang

12:15 to 1:15 pm – Lunch, and Talk by Michael Muthukrishna on “A Theory of Everyone(1 credit)

CLE Credits
11.75 standard CLE credits have been requested, event code: #490836 (7.75 for 9/22/23 and 4 for 9/23/23)
Parking Information