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The Dare Institute was founded in 1979 when Joel R. Peck discovered that the Federal Work-Study Program (FWSP) could fund his and others' work at the Dare Association's behavior and decision analysis laboratory. Previously, the Dare Association had paid the full wages of its employees. Under FWSP, the government pays two-thirds of students' wages, and the Dare Association pays the remaining third. To comply with Work-Study requirements, the Dare Institute was founded.
Led by Michael L. Commons, Ph.D. and Patrice M. Miller, Ed.D., the Dare Institute conducts research on human decision-making development within such contexts as academia, economics, politics, institutions, businesses, medicine, and the law.
The Institute's studies focus on the development of people's perceptions of value and causality within these various contexts. To gather data, experimental tests are given to children, adolescents, and adults in our own culture and in others.