Research

… And More!

Making people happier, healthier and wealthier with behavioral science, at home and abroad.

Sometimes our projects don’t quite fit into the Health, Money or World categories. We are an inquisitive bunch. Every now and then we can’t resist the opportunity to explore new areas. Read on to learn more about this research.

FOCUS AREAS

Emotion

Emotion

In 1987, a child named Jessica McClure was trapped in a well. Rescuers worked around the clock for 58 consecutive hours to free her. Eventually she was saved. This story generated more television coverage than genocides in Darfur and Rwanda combined. Why? What made television producers and newspaper editors think that this story of one individual was more important than the deaths of millions? Probably, because these decision-makers assumed the story of Jessica had a stronger emotional connection for American viewers.

There are two sides to our decision-making: rational and emotional. At times, the emotional can derail rational decisions. When does this happen? What are precautions that individuals can take before entering an emotional experience that could lead to bad decisions? How can emotions be moderated? Our research sets out to answer these questions.

Morality

Morality

Everyone cheats (a bit). But simple techniques can reduce the amount of cheating and increase moral behavior.

Motivation

Motivation

A recent Gallup poll found that 70 percent of American workers are disengaged from their jobs. That means only three in 10 people are motivated in their work. Think about the negative ramifications of this for employees, organizations and society as a whole. There are some major pitfalls in thinking that more money equals higher output on the job. We are researching the drivers that impact motivation - the role of connection, completion of goals, and different internal and external factors. These findings have the potential to dramatically approach how organizations reward employees and how individuals can approach their roles with a different perspective.

Self-control

Self-control

Self-control is the problem of considering what we want now versus what is good for us in the long-term. When our preferences in the moment are inconsistent with our ideals for the future, we are stuck battling the heat of the moment - which sadly has a much more pronounced influence over our decisions than our aspirations for the distant future. In other words, that half box of chocolate that we could consume now looks much more appealing than the whole box of chocolates that we could get if we waited a week.

PUBLICATIONS

The Effects of Extreme Rituals on Moral Behaviour: the performers-observers gap hypothesis

Religious rituals are found all over the world. Some cultures engage in…

Authors
Editorial: Trust: The Limits of Human Moral

The role of trust in human interaction has been a long-standing question…

Panos Mitkidis VISITING FACULTY

“I can see it in your eyes”: Biased Processing and Increased Arousal in Dishonest Responses

According to self-maintenance theory, people notice their dishonest acts and thus experience…

Authors
Eye-tracking Social Preferences

We hypothesize that if people are motivated by a particular social preference,…

Ting Jiang PRINCIPAL, GLOBAL HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT

Fairness requires deliberation: The primacy of economic over social considerations

While both economic and social considerations of fairness and equity play an…

Authors
Robot Presence and Human Honesty: Experimental Evidence. In Proceedings of the Tenth Annual ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction

Robots are predicted to serve in environments in which human honesty is…

Authors
Contingent Match Incentives Increase Donations

We propose a new means by which non-profits can induce donors to…

Authors
Everybody Else Is Doing It: Exploring Social Transmission of Lying Behavior

Lying is a common occurrence in social interactions, but what predicts whether…

Authors
Matchmaking Promotes Happiness

Four studies document and explore the psychology underlying people's proclivity to connect…

Lalin Anik ALUMNUS

When is inequality fair? an experiment on the effect of procedural justice and agency. An Experiment on the Effect of Procedural Justice and Agency

We investigate how the perceived fairness of an income distribution depends on…

Authors
Does Goal Demotion enhance Cooperation?

Social scientists have long assumed that religion – and more specifically religious…

Panos Mitkidis VISITING FACULTY

Cheating in Mind Games: The Subtlety of Rules Matters

This paper employs two variants of the “mind game” to show how…

Ting Jiang PRINCIPAL, GLOBAL HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT

Processing differences between descriptions and experience: a comparative analysis using eye-tracking and physiological measures

Do decisions from description and from experience trigger different cognitive processes? We…

Authors

WHO WE ARE

Aaron Nichols

BEHAVIORAL RESEARCHER

Andrea Dinneen

SENIOR BEHAVIORAL RESEARCHER

Anja Schanbacher

POST-DOCTORAL ASSOCIATE

Dan Ariely

PRINCIPAL, CENTER FOR ADVANCED HINDSIGHT

Emory Nelms

SENIOR BEHAVIORAL RESEARCHER

Jamie Foehl

SENIOR BEHAVIORAL RESEARCHER

Jan Willem Lindemans

SENIOR BEHAVIORAL RESEARCHER

Jianna Torre

BEHAVIORAL RESEARCHER

Jordan Axt

SENIOR BEHAVIORAL RESEARCHER

Joseph Sherlock

SENIOR BEHAVIORAL RESEARCHER

Mariel Beasley

PRINCIPAL, COMMON CENTS LAB

Michelle Zong

BEHAVIORAL RESEARCHER

Wendy De La Rosa

PRINCIPAL, COMMON CENTS LAB