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Senator George J. Mitchell Center & Maine's Sustainability Solutions Initiative

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Graduate Students - Sarah Newcomb

Graduate Research Assistant
School of Economics & Department of Psychology
University of Maine, Orono

What problem/s are you working to solve?
I am investigating the phenomenon of psychological discounting. I want to understand the mental mechanisms that drive short-termism, social discounting, and their contribution to economic decision making.

How could your findings contribute to a more sustainable future in Maine and beyond?
Short-term public and corporate policies often lead to unsustainable behavior. If we can measure and predict the ways in which our psychology biases preferences toward immediate returns over future returns, we may be able to counter the effect.

Why did you decide to join SSI?
The interdisciplinary nature of the program suits my research.

What’s the best part about collaborating on SSI research projects?
Learning how other researchers think and manage their work.

Where’s your favorite place in Maine?
Too many to name, but probably my cozy house.

What’s your ultimate Maine experience?
Hiking in Acadia with my dog.

Mud season survival strategy?
Rubber boots!

What sustains you?
Hope for humanity to have a brighter future. Good friends. Beauty. My daughter. My dog. SCIENCE!

Additional information on Sarah and her SSI team

SSI Project:
The Knowledge-to-Action Collaborative

Research Advisors: Shannon McCoy & Mario Teisl

Image Description: Morehead

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Contact Information

Senator George J. Mitchell Center & Maine's Sustainability Solutions Initiative
5710 Norman Smith Hall
Orono, ME 04469
Phone: 207.581.3244E-mail:
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System