Pablo Egaña Del Sol

Neuroscience and education: measuring and developing creative, cognitive and socioemotional skills in educational settings

With Marcela Pena (PUC) and Jesus Juyumana (UChile)


The average length of an individual’s education has grown over time, driven by the promise of improving a person’s job prospects and, consequently, their quality of life. However, several behavioral studies report that most skills needed to enhance job prospects are learned not in school but on the job. Similar studies support socioemotional skills’ role in human capital development. Nevertheless, claim that there is a need for better measurements of skills. Cognitive neuroscience research can play a pivotal role in helping us to understand such a skills gap and in designing human capital interventions to address this gap. Likewise, neuroscience data may provide better explanatory mechanisms, leading to empirical discoveries based on more robust methods and a more precise theoretical model. This paper discusses current and potential applications of neuroscientific findings concerning socio-emotional skills development within educational settings. We conclude that integrating socio-emotional neuroscience data into human capital studies can positively impact individuals’ behavior and decision making, improving occupational choice and salary while also affecting program designs and benefiting society.