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The latest news from the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science at LSE

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People often take a "screen break" with another screen

8 December 2022

How often do you scroll through your smartphone while also watching TV or check your notifications while working on your computer?

Sixty per cent of the time we use an electronic device, we are using at least one other device at the same time. This is according to new research by Dr Maxi Heitmayer (Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science)

Read the LSE news story.

Read 'Patterns of multi-device use with the smartphone. A video-ethnographic study of young adults’ multi-device use with smartphones in naturally occurring contexts' in Computors in Human Behavior Reports here.

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Spotlight interview with Jens Koed Madsen

30 November 2022

We interviewed Dr Jens Koed Madsen about his research looking at information, disinformation and social networks for the latest in our Spotlight interview series. Read it here.

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Finance staff ignoring mandatory office attendance in move away from presenteeism

28 November 2022

"Firms that demand their employees are in the office for no reason will lose out on diverse talent pools." Dr Grace Lordan (The Inclusion Initiative and PBS) comments in The Times on her new research with Women in Banking and Finance (WIBF). Read it here.

Read the LSE news story here.

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PBS faculty and Professional Services Staff awarded at the LSE Excellence in Education Awards

15 November 2022

Faculty and Professional Services Staff from PBS have been awarded at the LSE Excellence in Education Awards. The awards are designed to support the School’s aspiration of creating ‘a culture where excellence in teaching is valued and rewarded on a level with excellence in research’, the Excellence in Education Awards are made, on the recommendations of Heads of Department and Divisions, to staff who have demonstrated outstanding teaching contribution and educational leadership in their departments.

Winners for 2022: Gemma Hutchinson (Communications Manager), Louise Millar (MSc Programme Manager), William Stubbs (MSc Programme Manager), Dr Christian Krekel, Dr Jens Madsen, Dr Ganga Shreedhar, Chris Hunt (Undergraduate Programme Manager), Professor Bradley Franks, Dr Matteo M Galizzi, Dr Lucia Garcia-Lorenzo, and Dimitris Thomopoulos (EDI Officer and Executive Officer to PBS Head of Department).

See the full list of winners for 2022 and 2021 on the LSE website.

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Alex Gillespie and Tom Reader present on online patient feedback at the Care Opinion Autumn Online Conference

10 November 2022

Professor Alex Gillespie and Dr Tom Reader presented their latest research exploring online patient feedback as a “safety valve” for concerns about healthcare services. The research was published ealier this year 2022 in Risk Analysis and featured as a news story for LSE.

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Is The Golden Age Of Customer Service Behind Us? Professor Ben Voyer writes for Forbes

21 October 2022

For decades, companies have fought hard to retain customers, pushing the ‘customer is always right’ mantra to its limits. Staff shortages and the need to cut costs during the pandemic have challenged this approach, writes LSE Visiting Professor Ben Voyer.

Read the article in Forbes here.

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Interview | Michael Muthukrishna on how social fractures are deepened by crisis

21 October 2022

In this short film for LSE, Dr Michael Muthukrishna explains how social fractures are exacerbated by crisis, and suggests policymaking interventions to alleviate the stressors and tensions felt by many in society today. Watch on Instagram.


Saadi Lahlou awarded Gary Lilien ISMS-MSI-EMAC Practice Prize 

19 October 2022

Professor Saadi Lahlou has been awarded the Gary Lilien ISMS-MSI-EMAC Practice Prize as co-author of the work “Effect of front-of-pack labels on the nutritional quality of supermarket food purchases”. The work reported the results of a large-scale randomized controlled trial conducted by a multidisciplinary research team at the request of the French Government to select the best of 4 simplified front-of-pack nutrition labels. 

Read more about the award here.

Read the paper 'Effects of front-of-pack labels on the nutritional quality of supermarket food purchases: evidence from a large-scale randomized controlled trial' in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science.


Interview | Grace Lordan speaks on 'How at risk is my money'

11 October 2022

Dr Grace Lordan spoke to The Leader podcast on what the UK Government's budget plans, and the fallout from the mini-Budget, mean for the pound in people's pocket this winter. Listen to the podcast and the article via the Evening Standard here.


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Research | How to resist and overcome the stigma of unemployment

11 October 2022

New research, led by Dr Lucia Garcia-Lorenzo and co-authored by PBS Visiting Fellow Dr Lucia Sell-Trujillo, investigates the social contexts of stigma in relation to unemployed individuals. In a five-year study of a group of long-term unemployed individuals in Spain, the authors found that individuals who showed resilience and resistance strategies were able to challenge their stigmatisation and explore alternatives to the system.

Responding to stigmatization: How to resist and overcome the stigma of unemployment is out now in Organization Studies (SAGE).

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Interview | Alexandra Kirienko speaks to LSE about employee wellbeing and hybrid working

6 October 2022

PhD candidate Alexandra Kirienko discussed her research which explores employee wellbeing and hybrid working, and finding the best ways for companies to make meaningful structural changes. Read the interview in full here.

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Podcast | How can we survive the next mass extinction? Dr Ganga Shreedhar speaks to LSE iQ

5 October 2022

Dr Ganga Shreedhar, Assistant Professor in Behavioural Science at LSE and Associate at the Grantham Research Institute of Climate Change, joined a discussion on the dangers of greenwashing, what it’s like to witness an environmental catastrophe and how we can change our behaviour to benefit the planet.

Listen to the LSE iQ podcast via LSE Player here.

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Research | 'Humane halo' effect and consumption of dairy products

New research, authored by Heidi Zamzow and Dr Frederic Basso, investigates how ethical framing influences consumer choice in the dairy industry. The authors found – in an online experiment of 267 participants - that information about the dairy company’s environmental practices influenced perceptions of their animal welfare practices and to what degree they would recommend the brand: a ‘humane halo’ effect. 

The authors suggest that these findings establish the existence of a cross-domain halo in food ethics and shed light on ways to increase the effectiveness of policies designed to shift consumers to more sustainable diets.

'Say Cheese': Humane halos from environmental practices in dairy production is available via Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems here.

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Comment | Dr Laura Giurge speaks on the benefits of asynchronous work in BBC Work-Life

4 October 2022

Dr Laura Giurge comments on the growing popularity of non-linear workdays that have stemmed from the pandemic: "Asynchronous work allows people to save commuting time, get admin tasks done during low productivity hours, fit in more exercise and save money having home-cooked meals. A core benefit of non-linear workdays is having control over how to spend your time". Read the article in full on BBC Work-Life.

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Research | Schedule medical appointments for the end of the week to increase attendance

30 September 2022

New research, co-authored by Jet G. Sanders (Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science, LSE), suggests that patients are more likely to attend medical appointments scheduled for later in the week, with important implications for improving attendance in healthcare settings.

A weekday intervention to reduce missed appointments is available to read at PLOS ONE.

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Comment | Dr Thomas Curran on perfectionism 

12 September 2022

Dr Thomas Curran spoke to The Wall Street Journal on rising levels of perfectionism for an article on embracing mediocrity.

Read the article in WSJ here.


Interview | Daniele Pollicino speaks to Ecolo

9 September 2022

PhD student Daniele Pollicino spoke to Ecolo about his research into sustainable food behaviours. Read it here (in Italian).

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What if consumers do not need the metaverse? Professor Ben Voyer writes his first article as Contributor for Forbes

6 September 2022

"The metaverse and metatech can only exist for as long as they address a genuine consumer need," says Visiting Professor Ben Voyer in his first article as Contributor for Forbes. Read the article here.

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Research | Developing a battery of measures for unobtrusive indicators of organisational culture: a research note

19 August 2022

Measuring organisational culture is important for detecting the values and practices that increase organisational risk. In this new research article, out now in Journal of Risk Research, Dr Tom Reader and Prof. Alex Gillespie (LSE) explore unobtrusive indicators of culture (UICs) - a single measure of organisational culture drawn from data collected without engaging employees - drawn from different data sources, across 312 large European companies.

Read the article in Journal of Risk Research here.

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Research | Online patient feedback is a “safety valve” for concerns about healthcare services

10 August 2022

Online patient feedback may help hospitals in the UK to improve patient safety and reduce mortality rates, suggests a new paper from Professor Alex Gillespie and Dr Tom Reader (Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science), published today in Risk Analysis.

"Online patient feedback as a safety valve: an automated language analysis of unnoticed and unresolved safety incidents" is published in Risk Analysis by Alex Gillespie and Tom W. Reader.

Read the news story about this research via LSE News here.


Comment | Grace Lordan comments in Harpers Bazaar UK on sustaining inclusion in the future of hybrid working 

5 August 2022

Lordan suggests that they key is to "give people as much autonomy as possible over their own tasks, and then have them come together at crucial points as a team for social connections, for guidance or for things that require more than one person’s brainpower". Read the article in full here.

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Comment | Michael Muthukrishna speaks to The Guardian on a rise in aggressive behaviours in the UK

4 August 2022

Michael Muthukrishna explains that aggressive behaviours may increase when societal stressors, such as the pandemic and cost of living crisis, increase. He says “If you create situations where people’s expectations are not met, you trigger zero-sum psychology,” but that being prepared for the circumstances ahead, he suggests, “might go some way towards creating some solidarity, making people realise that we’re all in this together now. Read the article in full here. 

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Research | BPS launches new campaign #Makeit10 to make social class a protected characteristic

21 July 2022

In a new report highlighting the psychological impact of class-based inequalities and discrimination, the British Psychological Society (BPS) argues that to truly ‘level up’ and tackle the widening social mobility gap, social class should be protected under the Equalities Act. Co-authored by LSE's Jennifer Sheehy-Skeffington. Read more via the BPS.


Comment | "The most common blocks to progress we see are mediocre managers of all genders who refuse to embrace the idea (explicitly, or covertly) that diversity matters."

21 July 2022

Grace Lordan discusses why ending favouritism is the key to building a diverse workforce, for the Financial Times. Read it here.

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Interview | Historical plagues led to revolutions - could coronavirus do the same? Michael Muthukrishna speaks to New Scientist

18 July 2022

Michael Muthukrishna spoke to New Scientist on an article exploring the historical links between epidemics and social transformations. Muthukrishna explains that the type of shock experienced as a result of an epidemic, can cause constellations of ideological "mutations" the most successful of which filter through social networks, becoming more established. The article is available (full access available via subscription) on New Scientist.

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Research | The sanctification of science during the pandemic

8 July 2022

New research, out now in Personality and Individual Differences, suggests that stronger beliefs in COVID-19 science increase compliance and reduce trust in conspiracy theories. When beliefs in COVID-19 science become convictions, social trust and cohesion may suffer. Access 'The dark side of belief in Covid-19 scientists and scientific evidence' here.

Authors Paul Dolan and Maja Grasso explore the implications of this research for the LSE British Politics and Policy blog. Read it here.

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NSS 2022: 100% Agree score of 'Overall satisfaction' for PBS undergraduate programme

7 July 2022

The Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science is delighted to have received a 100% Agree score for ‘Overall satisfaction’ for our undergraduate BSc Psychological and Behavioural Science programme in the 2022 National Student Survey (NSS) - feedback given directly by students on the programme.

More about the NSS 2022 results can be found on the Office for Students website here.

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Bosses still rely on outdated metrics of performance

6 July 2022

Employees feel they need to be seen to be working longer hours to do well but this out of step with the shift in employees seeking more flexibility, not been matched in the way employers assess performance. Dr Laura M. Giurge spoke to BBC Worklife. Read the article in full here

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A framework for designing complex social events

5 July 2022

A new paper, led by Professor Saadi Lahlou, introduces a Mutlilayered Installation Design (MID) method to understand complex social environments such as video conferencing, and offers directions for design.

Out now in Social Sciences and Humanities Open.

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Professor Elizabeth Stokoe to join PBS in 2023

27 June 2022

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Elizabeth Stokoe to the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science at LSE. Elizabeth’s research focusses on social interaction across settings and contexts from first dates to healthcare and medicine and from crisis negotiation to conversational technologies. She developed a communication training approach called CARM (the ‘Conversation Analytic Role-play Method’) for which she won a Wired Innovation Fellowship. Last year, she was awarded Honorary Fellowship of the British Psychological Society. Elizabeth has given numerous talks on science communication including BBC Radio 4’s Life Scientific and The Royal Institution.

Elizabeth said:

“I am thrilled to be joining the LSE, and especially an interdisciplinary Department that spans the psychological and behavioural sciences – all in the context of one of the best social science universities in the world. I’m looking forward to this wonderful new challenge and excited to see what the coming years will bring.”

We look forward to welcoming Elizabeth to the Department and to her contribution to research and teaching. Welcome!

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Vacancy in the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science | Course Tutor in Quantitative Methods and Statistics

13 June 2022

Applications are open for a Course Tutor in Quantitative Methods and Statistics. We are looking for someone who is an inspirational teacher who will be a part of team that positions our new BSc in Psychological and Behavioural Science as a leading global degree that attracts the best students from across the UK and around the world. 

Deadline for receipt of applications: 14 July 2022 (23.59 UK time).

Find out more and apply via the LSE Jobs website here.

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Book publication | Public Communication of Research Universities ‘Arms Race’ for Visibility or Science Substance?

2 June 2022

This book, edited by Dr Marta Entradas (Visiting Fellow, LSE) and Professor Martin W. Bauer (LSE), analyses communication of university research institutes, with a focus on science communication. Advancing the ‘decentralisation hypothesis’, it asserts that communication structures are increasingly built also at ‘subordinate unit’ levels of research universities.

About the publication, Dr Marta Entradas said:

“With this book we want to prompt discussions on the practice of science communication within the university settings. We are asking questions such as how science communication practice relates to the rise of the ‘attention-seeking’ culture of universities and the tendencies for global competition, what remains of the role of the university in facilitating public engagement with science, and how research institutes see and decide about their communications strategies”.

Available via Routledge here.

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Research on NHS complaints procedures

1 June 2022

New research, co-authored by PBS academics Dr Tom Reader and Dr Alex Gillespie, examines how national policies structure local practices of complaint handling in English hospitals, how they are understood by those responsible for enacting them, and if there are any discrepancies between policies-as-intended and their reality in local practice. They find that national policies and regulations for complaint handling can impede, rather than promote, quality improvement in local settings.

Out now in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine here.

The article was also covered in the Evening Standard.

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Jobs that involve abstract thinking less likely to be automated

24 May 2022

Jobs that require abstract thinking, people engagement and soft skills are less likely to be automated, according to new LSE research led by PBS PhD student Cecily Josten and Grace Lordan (Associate Professor, Founding Director of The Inclusion Initiative).

In comparison, occupations that involve physicality and muscle, or those that can be codified or delivered online, are more likely to be replaced by machines.

Read about this research in LSE News here.

Read the research article (open access) in PLOS One here.

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Laura M. Giurge speaks to The Atlantic about how sabbaticals may benefit wellbeing

23 May 2022

The article, out now in The Atlantic, explores the potential benefits that career sabbaticals may have on individuals. Laura M. Giurge, behavioural scientist focussed on the future of work, suggested that the optimal time for a sabbatical could be short-term for personal projects, and longer to recover from the effects of 'burnout', but little academic research currently addresses how effective sabbaticals are in the long-term.

Read the article here.

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Do Nudges Reduce Borrowing and Consumer Confusion in the Credit Card Market?

19 May 2022

Well designed, informational nudges do not reduce long-run credit card debt, according to findings from a natural field experiment of 183,441 UK cardholders. The study, co-authored by LSE Visiting Senior Fellow Paul Adams, along with Stefan Hunt, Benedict Guttman-Kenney, Lucy Hayes, Neil Stewart and David Laibson is out now in Economica

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Thomas Curran on perfectionism

17 May 2022

In May, Thomas Curran, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science at LSE, spoke to Adam Grant on the WorkLife podcast (TED) about the culture of perfectionsim and the dangers it can pose to our mental health.

Access the Breaking Up with Perfectionism podcast episode via Apple Podcasts here and Google Podcasts here.


Why cryptocurrencies have crashed and what it means for the future

13 May 2022

LSE Fellow Stuart Mills has co-authored an article for The Conversation exploring why cryptocurrencies have recently crashed and some of the behaviours behind these types of investments.

Read the article here.

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Should AI be used in the recruitment process?

9 May 2022

In a new article published in Artifical Intelligence Review, authors Paris Will, Dario Krpan and Grace Lordan show that AI is mostly better than humans in improving diversity. However, there is a perception among candidates and recruiters that AI is worse than humans.

The authors propose a new framework - HIRE (Human, (Artificial) Intelligence, Recruitment, Evaluation)  - with the aim of evaluating studies which investigate how Artificial Intelligence can be integrated into the recruitment process with respect to gauging whether AI is an adequate, better, or worse substitute for human recruiters.

Read the article here.

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Why Europe’s COVID vaccination campaigns need more tailored messaging to beat vaccine hesitancy - LSE research featured in Euronews

6 May 2022

New research, co-authored by LSE, has found that vaccine-hesitant adults in the UK are far more likely to have their COVID-19 jabs if they are told that they can then travel abroad more freely. This research has been featured in Euronews.

Read the original research in Science Advances here

Read the news article on LSE News here.

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Research on flexible working featured in The Wall Street Journal

3 May 2022

Research that shows working and studying ‘out of hours’ can harm motivation, recently published in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, authored by Dr Laura M. Giurge and Professor Kaitlin Wooley, has been reported on for the Wall Street Journal. Read the article here.

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Vaccination campaign messages often prove ineffective

28 April 2022

A new study, out now in Science Advances, in eight European countries suggests that COVID-19 vaccination campaign messages often prove ineffective and health authorities should avoid a one-size-fits-all messaging approach. 

Access the article COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in eight European countries: Prevalence, determinants, and heterogeneity here


The study is part of the project “PERISCOPE – Pan-European Response to the Impacts of COVID-19 and future Pandemics and Epidemics”, which has received 10 million euros in EU funding. 32 partner institutions from 15 European countries are investigating the social, political and economic impacts of the pandemic. LSE's Behavioural Lab for Teaching and Research - a partnership between the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science and the Department of Management - form part of the PERISCOPE consortium which was awarded funding in 2020.


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Research: Working and studying ‘out of hours’ can harm motivation

25 April 2022

The traditional 9-to-5 work week has been replaced in many cases by hybrid hours tailored to individual needs.

But working outside traditional hours, and checking in at all hours of the day, night, weekends, and holidays, is not necessarily beneficial for the 21st-century workforce, according to new research from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and Cornell University.

Read the LSE news story on this research here.

Access the article in Harvard Business Review here.

Read the paper, published in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, here.


Dr Ilka Gleibs on support for refugees from Ukraine

15 April 2022

In this interview for Sudwest Presse, social psychologist Dr Ilka Gleibs explains why, in Germany, people have shown such willingness to help refugees escaping conflict in Ukraine. Read the article (paywall access required) here.

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New research investigates vaccination intention

7 April 2022

How effective are public health messages in influencing vaccination uptake? New research suggests that vaccination intention increased when messaging conveyed a greater level of vaccination coverage, suggesting that people may adopt behaviours of others ('band-wagoning' effect). However, when messaging conveyed vaccination coverage above 75%, the impact flatlined, suggesting a 'free-riding' effect and a decreased intention to be vaccinated.

Co-author Dr Matteo M. Galizzi (Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science) said:

"Public health policies increasingly use ‘nudges’ to influence societal behaviours. For example, nudges can convey different messages about the proportion of people receiving vaccinations against seasonal flu or COVID-19 in order to influence others to receive it. But how effective are these social norm messages? In an online experiment of 1,356 people in the UK, we tested different messages about vaccination rates. We found that vaccination intention increased when messaging conveyed a greater level of vaccination coverage consistent with a ‘band-wagoning’ effect – when people adopt behaviours because others are doing so. However, when coverage rates were much higher (above 75%), intention, although still positive, flatlined, suggesting that such social norm messaging loses impact because some people may start ‘free ride’ on what others are doing. These findings are significant as policymakers continue to tailor and implement public health messaging to encourage vaccination uptake amongst communities."

Read 'Bandwagoning, free-riding and heterogeneity in influenza vaccine decisions: An online experiment' here.

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Rising Parental Expectations and Criticism Linked to Perfectionism in College Students 

31 March 2022

Rising parental expectations and criticism are linked to an increase in perfectionism among college students, which can have damaging mental health consequences, according to new research led by Thomas Curran (Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science) and Andrew. P. Hill (York St John University).

Out now in Psychological Bulletin.

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The Inclusion Initiative (TII) at LSE has been awarded £2 million by the Economic and Social Research Council

29 March 2022

The Inclusion Initiative (TII) at LSE, and led by Founding Director and Associate Professor in PBS Dr Grace Lordan, has been awarded £2 million by the Economic and Social Research Council to study the link between diversity and productivity, in collaboration with researchers from Institute for Fiscal Studies, University of Sheffield, University College London and University of Warwick.

Read the LSE news story here.

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Is it possible to place too much faith in scientists?

28 March 2022

A new COVID-19 study suggests that when people place too much faith in scientists - and these beliefs become convictions -  they may be more likely to misjudge unsupported scientific claims.

These are the findings from a study co-authored by LSE's Amanda Henwood and Professor Paul Dolan, investigating beliefs into COVID-19 science claims, out now in Personality and Individual Differences.

Amanda Henwood said:

"Our research has shown that it is possible to place too much faith in science. Doing so can lead people to misjudge certain claims as being ‘scientific’ even when they are not. This increased conviction in “follow the science” may have also led to increased levels of social distrust, authoritarianism with respect to Covid-19 restrictions, and lack of social cohesion.”

Professor Paul Dolan said:

"Showing deference to scientific expertise is helpful for encouraging collective action, but can be harmful when it leads people to blindly follow rules without proper regard for for the full welfare effects of those rules." 

Read 'The dark side of belief in Covid-19 scientists and scientific evidence'.

Nihan Albayrak updated

A community-sourced glossary of open scholarship terms

28 March 2022

Open scholarship has transformed research, but with it increased the breadth of terminology which can create barriers to effective understanding. A newly published glossary of open scholarship terms has now been prodcued to address this, co-authored by Dr Nihan Albayrak-Aydemir (PBS). 

Read 'A community-sourced glossary of open scholarship terms' in Nature Human Behaviour.


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Laura M. Giurge speaks on the email urgency bias

22 March 2022

Laura M. Giurge spoke to Cambridge ThinkLab about the relationship between increased connectivity, responsiveness and unhealthy work cultures. Watch the presentation on YouTube here.

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Knowledge in Context published in Chinese

22 March 2022

Knowledge in Context: Representations, Community and Culture by Professor Sandra Jovchelovitch has been published in Chinese.

Published in 2019 as a classics edition, Jovchelvitch revisits her influential work on the societal and cultural processes that shape the development of representational processes in humans.

Professor Jovchelovitch said:

"I am particularly delighted to see this translation as I think of generations of Chinese students I had the privilege to teach here at the School. I am delighted in particular because the translation was done by my former PhD student Mi Zhao who is now at Beijing Normal."

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Maxi Heitmayer featured in LSE's Research for the World magazine

16 March 2022

Our smartphones don’t distract us, we distract ourselves by constantly checking them, argues Maxi Heitmayer in LSE's Research for the World magazine. Read the article here.

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Is Remote Work Actually Better for the Environment?

8 March 2022

Is remote work actually better for the environment? Not necessarily & companies taking action on environmental sustainability need to be conscious of this as they develop remote work policies, say Ganga Shreedhar, Kate Laffan and Laura M. Giurge in Harvard Business Review. Read it here.

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International Women's Day

8 March 2022

This International Women's Day, we have put together a collection of research, comment and media from women in the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science, around the theme Break the Bias. 

And for a second year, we invited students in the Department to respond to this theme by writing a blog post for Psychology LSE. Read them all here.

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Working and studying ‘out of hours’ can harm motivation

4 March 2022

The traditional 9-to-5 work week has been replaced in many cases by hybrid hours tailored to individual needs.

But working outside traditional hours, and checking in at all hours of the day, night, weekends, and holidays, is not necessarily beneficial for the 21st-century workforce, according to new research co-authored by Laura M.Giurge (Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science, LSE) and Kaitlin Woolley (Cornell University). Read more via LSE News.

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Climate stories don't have to be depressing to be effective

2 March 2022

Anandita Sabherwal and Dr Ganga Shreedhar spoke to Anthropocene about their study - out in Scientific Reports - that suggests that positive stories of people taking everyday pro-environmental actions can resonate with readers and their environmental behaviours.

Read the news story in Anthropocene here.

Read 'Stories of intentional action mobilise climate policy support and action intentions', Anandita Sabherwal & Ganga Shreedhar in Scientific Reports here

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Commentary: Ethical concerns arising from recruiting workers from Amazon's Mechanical Turk

8 February 2022

MTurk provides a convenient platform to crowdsource data, but to protect the individuals who perform these tasks – including monetarily & from exposure sensitive materials - there needs to be greater transparency throughout the process, argue Dr Nihan Albayrak-Aydemir and Dr Ilka Gleibs.

Commentary out now in the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

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Improving mental health outcomes for those affected by conflict in Colombia

1 February 2022

Schools for Forgiveness and Reconciliation (ES.PE.RE) enable individuals and communities who have been affected by armed conflict in Colombia, to rebuild trust, strengthen community ties and re-imagine their futures. 

These are the findings from the three-year project Pathways to Reconciliation, a UK-Colombian partnership, funded by UKRI, Newton Fund and Minciencias. The findings from this project have now been made into an animated short film which can be viewed below (in English).

More information about the film (and to view in both English and Spanish) and the project, can be found in our news story here.


Pathways to Reconciliation Pathways to Reconciliation
Watch this short animated film detailing the findings from the project Created by Pataleta

Using behavioural science to negotiate a pay rise

31 January 2022

Dr Grace Lordan writes about the tools that employees can utilise, such as storytelling, to negotiate a pay rise. Read in the Financial Times.

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Boosting climate policy support with fictional stories of everyday pro-environmental actions

21 January 2022

Short fiction stories that feature an everyday hero taking intentional, pro-environmental actions in day-to-day life can encourage readers’ climate policy support and action intentions, suggests new research from Anandita Sabherwal and Dr Ganga Shreedhar. Read the article in full on the Scientific Reports website.

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Analysis: What was the role of public health agencies in gathering behavioural insights during the COVID-19 pandemic?

19 January 2022

Dr Jet G. Sanders co-authors an analysis examining the role of public health agencies in gathering behavioural insights during the COVID-19 crisis and how these insights can contribute holistically to pandemic management.

Read the analysis in full via the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies here.

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SAGE and SPI-B were not equipped to advise on the impact COVID restrictions would have

18 January 2022

The burden of COVID restrictions fell unequally across the population, and some of those most affected were not represented at the policy table, write Michael Daly (Maynooth University) and Professor Liam Delaney (LSE) for the LSE COVID-19 blog. Read more.

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How can our culture affect the characteristics we inherit?

18 January 2022

Genes and culture are deeply intertwined. Dr Ryutaro Uchiyama’s pioneering new framework reconciles these two areas. 

In LSE's Research for World online magazine, with Dr Michael Muthukrishna and Dr Rachel Spicer, here.



Cultural Evolutionary Behavioral Science in Public Policy

14 January 2022

Dr Michael Muthukrishna and Robin Schimmelpfennig use dual inheritance theory and cultural evolution as a framework to address contextual gaps in public policy interventions. As part of the Templeton World Charity Foundation's Grand Challenges for Human Flourishing. Read the blog post here.

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Duration of daily activities has no impact on measures of overall wellbeing

11 January 2022

A new paper, led by Amanda Henwood and co-authored by Professor Paul Dolan, calls into question the assumption that doing more of what we like will show up in making us happier, particularly where current measures are based on self-reported analysis or subejctive wellbeing (SWB).

The authors suggest that alternative measures should be considered, including affective computing approaches such as smart watches to capture more subtle and/or passive monitoring.

Access the paper, published in Scientific Reports, here.

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Understanding the COVID-19 pandemic through a social psychological lens

5 January 2022

Social connections have played an important part in managing wellbeing during the pandemic but future research should more clearly distinguish the impacts on wider social factors including loneliness.

Dr Ilka Gleibs co-authors 'Us and the Virus: Understanding the COVID-19 Pandemic Through a Social Psychological Lens' for a special Covid-19 open-access issue in European Psychologist.

Access the article here.

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LSE Public Policy Review: Wellbeing

4 January 2022

Professor Paul Dolan and Professor Liam Delaney have contributed research articles to the latest edition of LSE Public Policy Review's wellbeing issue, focussing on how future pandemic policy responses could better incorporate wellbeing, and measure the ripple effects.

Read 'Incorporating Well-Being and Mental Health Research to Improve Pandemic Response' by Michael Daly and Liam Delaney.

Read 'Accounting for Consequences and Claims in Policy' by Paul Dolan.

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How we feel depends on what we pay attention to, writes Professor Paul Dolan

3 January 2022

In this post for LSE Business Review, Professor Paul Dolan writes about the "Welleye" framework, created with Dr Kate Laffan and Dr Laura Kudrna, which shows the role of attention in linking the objective circumstances of people’s lives to how they spend their time – and ultimately to how they feel. Read the blog post via LSE Business Review here.




As Libya faces its first national election since 2014, Dr Miriam Tresh evaluates the voter intention-behaviour gap, public perception and the consequences for voter turnout. Read the expert brief for Al Sharq Strategic Research. (22 December 2021)

A new ‘cultural evolvability’ framework, out now in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, aims to unlock the potential for innovation through a more nuanced understanding of diversity. The paper is co-authored by Dr Michael Muthukrishna (LSE) with Robin Schimmelpfennig (University of Lausanne), Layla Razek (McGill University) and Eric Schnell (LSE). The paper can be accessed here. Read the news story about this framework on the LSE website here(13 December 2021)

A study, co-authored by Professor Paul Dolan, aims to build a better understanding of day-to-day experiences of meaning at work. Out now in Group & Organization Management. (6 December 2021)

Faculty and Professional Services Staff (PSS) from the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science have been recognised in the LSE's Excellence in Education Awards - awarded to those who have demonstrated outstanding teaching contribution and educational leadership in their departments. (3 December 2021)

New briefing paper urges policy makers to empower people to 'level up' and back a real living wage - a briefing paper published by the British Psychological Society (BPS) as part of the 'From Poverty to Flourishing' campaign, co-authored by Dr Jennifer Sheehy-Skeffington (Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science, LSE). Read about the paper on the BPS website here. (29 November 2021)

The Inclusion Initiative (TII) marks its one-year anniversary. In the last year, TII has published research in major impact journals, conducted numerous high-profile events and produced highly impactful thought leadership. (24 November 2021)

Dr Michael Muthukrishna awarded SAGE Early Career Trajectory Award. Read more about the SPSP award winners for 2021 here(23 November 2021)

New research, co-authored by Dr Ilka Gleibs, supports previous research to show that leaders who build a sense of social identity protect teams from the adverse effects of workplace stress. Out now (open access) in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public HealthRead the article in full here(18 November 2021)

Research has shown that teenage girls with perfectionist traits are more likely to suffer harm on social media. Marianne Etherson and Dr Thomas Curran suggest ways to help in this piece for the Independent. (15 November 2021)

Automatic facial expression coding offers promising insights into the immediate emotional impacts of calorie labelling. A study led by Dr Kate Laffan (LSE), Professor Cass R. Sunstein (Harvard University) and Professor Paul Dolan (LSE), published open access in Behavioural Public Policy conducted in the LSE Behavioural Lab for Teaching & Research. Read the open access article Facing it: assessing the immediate emotional impacts of calorie labelling using automatic facial coding, Cambridge University Press here. (15 November 2021)

A study led by Professor Paul Dolan, out now in Social Choice and Welfare, explores the characteristics of people with the lowest levels of subjective well-being, that could prove useful for policymakers wanting to successfully identify these individuals. Read the open-access article in full on the Springer website here(8 November 2021)

Dr Grace Lordan spoke to Ali Abdaal about her book Think Big: Take Small Steps and Build the Future You Want, touching on some of the behavioural science concepts behind it. Watch the podcast interview on YouTube here. (1 November 2021)

Research led by Dr Lucia Garcia-Lorenzo, investigates the experiences of stigmatised groups, incuding the long-term unemployed, and uncovers a typology of responses capturing stigmatisation as a multi-level phenomenon. Published in Organization Studies(1 November 2021)

New research from Dr Ganga Shreedhar and Dr Matteo Galizzi (LSE) provides insights about framing behavioural interventions to motivate sustainable actions and their potential spillover and carryover effects. Out now in Environmental Psychology. (21 October 2021)

A major international study, co-authored by Professor Martin W. Bauer (LSE), looking into science journalism suggests that work has become ‘more intense’ for professionals around the world, but that the vast majority still see themselves staying in their occupations for the foreseeable future.Read our news article on the Global Science Journalism Report 2021 here. Access the report in full on the SciDev.Net website here. (21 October 2021)

New research from Dr Michael Muthukrishna (LSE) and Carl Falk (McGill) shines a light on the role of parsimony in current approaches to model selection, and offers an R package (ockhamSEM) for researchers to better understand and evaluate fit propensity. 'Parsimony in model selection: tools for assessing fit propensity', in Psychological Methods here. (18 October 2021)

New behavioural research explores engagement with wildlife conservation adverts on social media. This is the finding from new research by Dr Ganga ShreedharRead our research article here. Read the paper in full in Conservation Science and Practice here. (5 October 2021)

Professor Paul Dolan spoke at the Conservative Party Conference 2021.  Watch the discussion live on YouTube here(4 October 2021)

A large amount of smartphone use takes place on a locked screen. The paper, authored by Dr Maxi Heitmayer, provides a systematic description of locked use, the context in which it occurs, and makes suggestions for thinking about smartphone use based on duration and intensity of interactions. Access the paper in full here. Read the news story about this research here(29 September 2021)

Dr Michael Muthukrishna spoke at the World Bank's Fifth Future of Government event 'How will citizens' trust in government be affected?', for the fifth Future of Government event hosted by the World Bank. (28 September 2021)

Julia Buzan, PhD candidate in the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science at LSE, has been awarded a Cumberland Lodge Fellowship, awarded to doctoral students who are firmly committed to promoting social progress. Read more about Julia and the research she does to support this work as a Cumberland Lodge Fellow here(23 September 2021)

Vaccine intention increased in the Netherlands between November 2020 and March 2021. New research suggests that national shifts in COVID-19 vaccination beliefs predict COVID-19 shifts in vaccination intention, which could be supported by reliable, national informational campaigns. Out now in Euro Surveillance, led by Dr Jet G. Sanders(16 September 2021)

People are more likely to engage with social media advertisements by wildlife conservation organisations when the messaging focusses on the negative impact of human behaviour, and when the species has been used less often in these types of stories. However, increased engagement did not result in donations.New research from Dr Ganga Shreedhar, out now in Conservation, Science and PracticeRead the article here(15 September 2021)

Dr Thomas Curran appeared on the BBC Three programme Hayley Goes to discuss the impact that striving for perfection has on young people's mental health. Watch Hayley Goes Filter Free on BBC Three here(14 September 2021)

People who share the same religious beliefs have unique, common, cultural traits, that persist across geographic and political boundaries. This is the key finding from research by York University (Canada), the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and the University of British Colombia. Read the press release here(9 September 2021)

Dr Michael Muthukrishna reviews the evolutionary literature on cooperation both across societies and through history, and considers ways it can be applied in policies for reciprocity across the lifecycle, including pensions and welfare. Read The Ties that Bind Us in LSE Public Policy Review. (7 September 2021)

Professor Sandra Jovchelovitch delivered a keynote address for the 15th International Conference on Social Representations. This online conference took place from 9 September to 11 September 2021.

Dr Ilka Gleibs and Dr Nihan Albayrak-Aydemir report on the outcomes of a test to replicate major findings concerning intergroup biases and conflict. They highlight some of the major research and policy implications of these findings, including designing effective interventions that better support novel groups such as refugees and minorities. Read the 'Letter to the Editor' in Psychological Science here(August 2021)

"We’re seeing more ‘quits’ in corporate companies linked to work-life balance because people are more willing to fight for it", says Dr Grace Lordan in this article for Wired UK. Read the article in full here(27 August 2021)

Professor Liam Delaney and Professor Paul Dolan spoke to the Financial Times about why some people have reverted to comfort-seeking behaviours or, "treat brain", during the pandemic. Read Treat brain: how the pandemic is rewiring our brains here(26 August 2021)

PBS academic launches new scientific journal: Seeds of Science. Seeds of Science, co-founded by Dr Dario Krpan (PBS at LSE), aims to address some of the issues in academic publishing by providing a unique peer-reviewed platform for non-traditional scientific writing. Visit the Seeds of Science website for more information and to contribute. (19 August 2021)

The ABCDE framework for better decision-making. A new five-step framework, proposed by Professor Paul Dolan and Amanda Henwood, aims to help decision-makers avoid the narrative traps that can negatively impact some areas of society. Read the press release. Access the article 'Five Steps Towards Avoiding Narrative Traps in Decision-Making' in Frontiers in Psychology(12 August 2021)

COVID-19 and risk taking behaviours: The authors investigated if and how different parts of the population differ in their willingness to take various types of risk during the pandemic, published in Frontiers in Psychology in April 2021, here. Read the blog post about this research for the LSE School of Public Policy here(11 August 2021)

Dr Grace Lordan writes about some of the cognitive biases that hamper career progression. Read 'How to get your career moving: lessons from a behavioural scientist' in the Financial Times. (5 August 2021)

'Book publication: The Psychology of Social Influence: Modes and Modalities of Shifting Common Sense' by Dr Gordon Sammut (University of Malta, LSE Visiting Fellow) and Professor Martin W. Bauer (LSE) brings together the full range of modalities of social influence - from crowding, leadership, and norm formation to resistance and mass mediation - to set out a challenge-and-response 'cyclone' model. Published by Cambridge University Press. Find out more about 'The Psychology of Social Influence' here. (22 July 2021)

A new framework highlights dual role of genetics and culture in inheritance. The framework, set out in a forthcoming paper by Ryutaro Uchiyama, Rachel Spicer and Michael Muthukrishna (all of the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science, LSE), uses a dual inheritance approach to predict how cultural factors – such as technological innovation – can affect heritability. Read the press release by LSE here. (13 July 2021)

Grandmothers provide vital scaffolding that helps support maternal mental health, nutrition and infant feeding practices, particularly in low-income families, according to new research conducted in Colombia, led by Dr Natalia Concha and Professor Sandra Jovchelovitch (LSE). Read the article in Maternal and Child Nutrition here. (13 July 2021)

Dr Michael Muthukrishna hosts Science in the Time of Cancel Culture for BBC Radio 4. Listen to Science in the Time of Cancel Culture for Analysis on BBC Radio 4. (12 July 2021)

Dr Grace Lordan speaks to the BBC World Service about the impact of automation on the workplace. Lordan addresses the fourth industrial revolution and says that access to education will be key to enable more people to navigate it. Listen to The Real Story on the BBC World Service here. (9 July 2021)

Patient complaints should be integrated with staff incident reporting data to give a more holistic analysis of critical safety incidents and provide greater insight on the many potential factors that may give rise to unsafe care, according to a study out now in the Journal of Health Services and Research Policy. Jackie Van Dael, Alex Gillespie and Tom Reader used five years of patient complaints and staff incident reporting data at a large multi-site hospital in London. Read the article Getting the whole story: Integrating patient complaints and staff reports of unsafe care here(8 July 2021)

The adoption of moralising religious beliefs may have originated earlier in history and by much smaller populations than a previous study has shown, reveals a fresh analysis of the original data, published in Nature, co-authored by Dr Michael Muthukrishna and Dr Rachel Spicer (LSE). Read the press release. (8 July 2021)

Dr Bradley Franks speaks to LSE IQ about research on conspiracy theories. Listen and download 'Why do people believe in conspiracy theories?' by LSE IQ here. (7 July 2021)

Dr Grace Lordan discusses research on equality for Bloomberg TV. Lordan discusses recent research on the limited success for women in the finance sector. Watch the video on Bloomberg TV here. (1 July 2021)


Delay lifting Covid-19 restrictions may inflict disproportionate harm on the younger generation, small businesses and the creative industries in the UK. Professor Paul Dolan (LSE) and Professor Sunetra Gupta (University of Oxford) write for the LSE Covid-19 blog. Read Locked-in syndrome: why this must all end on 19 July here. (30 June 2021)

Dr Miriam Tresh has been awarded an LSE Class Teacher Award in recognition of her contribution to teaching in 2020-2021. Dr Frederic Basso and Dr Matteo Galizzi were highly commended for their teaching. See the full list of awards for 2021 on the LSE Class Teacher Awards website. (23 June 2021)

Dr Michael Muthukrishna speaks to BBC Radio 4 about the nature of originality. Michael spoke to Matthew Syed about originality, drawing on research into cultural evolution and the "collective brain". Listen to the episode 'Originality Armaggedon' on Sideways from BBC Radio 4, from 00.12.05 here. (23 June 2021)

New research, led by the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science at LSE, recommends that behavioural science teams working with governments on pandemic responses should increase their efforts to engage with the public and media narratives on the role of science and its role in policy. Lessons From the UK's Lockdown: Discourse on Behavioural Science in Times of COVID-19 is out now in Frontiers in Psychology. Access the article here. (17 June 2021)

The GOOD FINANCE Framework, a unique, action-focused framework that aims to create a better work environment for the financial and professional sectors, has been published by Women in Banking and Finance (WIBF), LSE's The Inclusion Initiative (TII) and The Wisdom Council. Read The GOOD FINANCE Framework(16 June 2021)

Dallas O'Dell, PhD student in the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science, and PBS alumna Denise Baron, have been awarded a Summer Research Grant by the LSE Phelan United States Centre. The grant will go towards research on topics related to the Centre’s overall mission of promoting internationally-oriented scholarship on America's changing role in the world. Visit the LSE Phelan United States website. (3 June 2021)

Levels of wellbeing increased significantly for individuals who participated in the NHS Volunteer Responders (NHSVR) programme, with effects lasting months after the volunteering period had ended, suggests new research from PBS academics, published by the Centre for Economic Performance. Continue reading. (31 May 2021)

Dr Michael Muthukrishna joins the CIFAR Azriele Global Scholars programme. Muthukrishna joins nineteen outstanding early-career researchers, and has been selected to be part of the Boundaries, Membership & Belonging research programme. Find out more about the programme on CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars website here. (26 May 2021)

New research uses the dual inheritance framework to understand the interaction between genes and culture. The authors use this to predict the ways in which heritability should differ between societies, socioeconomic levels and other groupings within some societies but not others, over the life course. Read 'Cultural Evolution of Genetic Heritability' in Behavioral and Brain Sciences here(24 May 2021)

Dr Jennifer Sheehy-Skeffington joins board of Associate Editors for the British Journal of Psychology. The British Journal of Psychology, from the British Psychological Society (BPS), publishes original research on all aspects of general psychology. Visit the British Journal of Psychology website. (4 May 2021)

Dr Michael Muthukrishna has been selected as one of 11 teams in the Templeton World Charity Foundation’s Grand Challenges for Human Flourishing request for ideas. Keep reading. (29 April 2021)

Duck-Rabbit: taking sides, hosted by PBS's Professor Paul Dolan, has been published as part of the LSE's Shaping the Post-Covid World series, focussing on a different topic relating to polarisation, from Covid to healthy lifestyles. Start listening to the Duck-Rabbit podcast here. (26 April 2021)

Research from the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science at LSE suggests strong commands made by government officials during the Covid-19 pandemic may have increased people’s intentions to comply with public health orders.Access the LSE news story Did the UK Government's Direct Messaging During the Early Stages of the Pandemic Work?  Read the article You Must Stay at Home! The Impact of Commands on Behaviors During COVID-19published in Social Psychological and Personality Science. (21 April 2021)

The Database of Religious History (DRH), a collaboration between the University of British Colombia (UBC) and London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), has received a grant of $4.8 million from the John Templeton Foundation in the United States. Religion remains a large driver of human behaviours in society. For social scientists and policymakers this database could help uncover the religious roots of how different communities engage with the world today, including attitudes towards vaccinations and other healthcare interventions. Read more. (20 April 2021)

Experiences of Covid-19 are not uniform around the world and, in countries such as Western Libya where armed conflict exists, perceptions of the virus and the psychological impact of preventative measures differ greatly from global averages, suggests a study of over 700 people in Tripoli, Western Libya by Dr Miriam TreshRead the article here. (10 April 2021)

Professor Paul Dolan spoke to the Telegraph on lobbying for a wellbeing factor in future pandemic policy-making decisions. Read the article in the Telegraph here. (5 April 2021)

Those on the political left in the US and UK are more likely than those on the right to notice social inequality, but only when it affects typically disadvantaged groups, suggests new research co-authored by Dr Jennifer Sheehy SkeffingtonRead the press release in full here. Access the paper in full on PNAS here. (30 March 2021)

Dr Michael Muthukrishna, Associate Professor of Economic Psychology in the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science, has been awarded the Association for Psychological Science 'Rising Star' award, in recognition for innovative work in the field. Find out more about Michael's work hereVisit the APS website to find out more about the Rising Star award here. (9 March 2021)

To mark International Women's Day (IWD) 2021, PBS faculty, researchers, alumni and students were invited to contribute work that addresses issues affecting gender inequality today. Our page highlights work on women in tech, flexibile working, the gender pay gap, biases, and includes comment from Dr Jennifer Sheehy-Skeffington and Dr Natalia Concha. Visit the PBS International Women's Day page here. (8 March 2021)

The government should create a wellbeing impacts agency and a wellbeing commission to enable policymakers to consider citizens’ wellbeing and quality of life in future, state a leading group of LSE academics. Read the LSE news story hereRead the white paper in full here (PDF). (5 March 2021)

In this article for Centre Piece, Dr Chris Krekel (PBS and CEP at LSE) considers whether the wellbeing benefits of the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be worth the investment. If the same spillover wellbeing effects seen in the London 2021 Olympics could be matched, the investment would be worth it. Read Is Tokyo 2020 Worth It? in Centre Piece here. (March 2021)

More than three quarters of people in the UK now say they are ’very likely’ to have the vaccine says new report from University of Oxford and London School of Economics and Political Science, including Professor Martin Bauer (PBS). Read the full report here. (24 February 2021)

Dr Jet G. Sanders contributes the book chapter Realistic Masks in the Real World, for the newly released book titled Forensic Face Matching from Markus Bindemann. Find out more about the book on the Oxford University Press website. (8 February 2021)

There are no optimal decision-making strategies we can learn in the classroom, we need to view it as a work in progress. Dr Grace Lordan (PBS, The Inclusion Initiative) recently spoke at the 11th virtual India Investment Conference on disrupting decision-making. News story via Big News Network here. (8 February 2021)

Aardman Animations have released have a new campaign "What's Up With Everyone?" aimed at encouraging young people to become more aware of their mental wellbeing. PBS' Dr Tom Curran has been part of the research team behind the animation, providing expertise on perfectionism. Read the news story in full on the Aardman website. (8 February 2021)

PBS Visiting Fellow Professor Ben Voyer joins new research chair "Turning Points" to advance research on emerging business and societal challenges, for the global luxury brand Carier. Read the press release in full here (PDF). (3 February 2021)

The life-years saved from Covid-19 deaths that have been averted as a result of lockdown measures may be fewer than the life-years that will be lost from deaths resulting from curable diseases, according to a new research paper published in the European Journal of Clinical Oncology. Read more on this paper. (2 February 2021)

Research led by PBS's Dr Jet Sanders has set to capture public discourse and representation of behavioural science during a time of fast-track and high stakes national policy making: COVID-19. (January 2021)

Read the pre-print of Lessons from lockdown: Media discourse on the role of behavioural science in the UK COVID-19 response here.

“Guilt [can lead to people] avoiding the topic of climate change altogether because you’re made to feel like a bad person anytime you’re exposed to any issue about the environment,” says Dr Ganga Shreedhar, speaking to British Vogue. Read the article in full on the British Vogue website. (23 January 2021)

LSE has launched a new online magazine: Research for the Worldfeaturing articles from PBS academics on perfectionism (by Dr Tom Curran) and workplace inclusion (by Dr Grace Lordan). Read The Problem With Perfection hereRead Behavioural Science and the City here. (18 January 2021)

New research co-authored by PBS's Dr Jens Koed Madsen, out now in the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, suggests that micro-targeting will become more prevalent in future elections. Understanding their effectiveness is imperative for fair & democratic elections. Read the research in full on the JASSS website. (8 January 2021)

STARS-C, a new partnership, jointly funded by Minciencias (Colombia) and ESRC/UKRI (UK), aims to build effective mental health provision in Colombian communities heavily affected by armed conflict and help build new roads to peace, using a bottom up, participatory approach. Continue reading. (7 January 2021)

Professor Paul Dolan spoke to Euronews about the stories people tell that often lead them to give up on their New Years resolutions. Watch the interview with Euronews here. (4 January 2021)


Dr Michael Muthukrishna writes about cultural evolution and the paradox of diversity for the National Academy of Engineering. Read the issue here. (18 December 2020)

In this article for Behavioural Public Policy, Dr Stuart Mills advances current theory on 'nudge' and 'sludge' theory, and argues that even greater emphasis should be made in the role of transparency in choice architecture, particularly those in policymaking roles. Read the article in full in Cambridge University Press. (2 December 2020)

A new report, published by the British Psychological Society and the Poverty to Flourishing campaign, shows how psychology can help to inform policies to support children and families. PBS's Dr Jennifer Sheehy-Skeffington is a member of the campaign and has explored the impact of poverty on people’s sense of control through her research. Read an article on the report in the January 2021 issue of The Psychologist. (30 November 2020)

A study, led by PBS's Maxi Heitmayer and Professor Saadi Lahlou, finds that 89% of mobile phone use is initiated by the user, and only 11% by notifications. Out now in Computers in Human Behaviour & reported in BBC News here. (23 November 2020)

Remote working has encouraged a shift in perception of what roles can be done flexibly, says a report commissioned by the Women in Banking & Finance network and PBS's Dr Grace LordanRead the article in Bloomberg here. (23 November 2020)

Research by Nihan Albayrak-Aydemir and Dr Ilka Gleibs shows that people are less likely to support global emergencies when the aftermaths are less clear. Read the full story. (14 November 2020)

Dr Grace Lordan has been appointed to the Department for Education’s (DfE) Skills and Productivity Board to advise on enhancing skills and inclusion for a post-COVID-19 economy. Read the story in full here. (13 November 2020)

LSE Behavioural Lab joins the European Commission’s €10million funded PERISCOPE consortium to study the effectiveness of COVID-19 policy messages on compliance behaviours. Read the story in full here. (20 October 2020)

Jess Winterstein speaks to Dr Thomas Curran, Associate Professor at PBS, about the potential pitfalls of wanting to be perfect. Our society values perfection, but is the concept of perfect really that good for us? This episode of LSE IQ explores perfectionism. Listen to the podcast on LSE Player here. (6 October 2020)

Dr Christian Krekel has led research showing that happier people were more compliant with COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, while unhappy people were less likely to comply. This research has been co-authored into a blog for LSE, available here. (24 September 2020)

Torben Emmerling and Duncan Rooders, both alumni of Executive MSc Behavioural Science, write about behavioural science strategies that can improve group decision making for Harvard Business Review. Read the article '7 Strategies for Better Group Decision Making' here. (22 September 2020)

A comic strip visualisation of the 2020 article 'Experimental evidence on the impact of biodiversity conservation videos on charitable donations' by Dr Ganga Shreedhar and Professor Susana Mourato from the journal Ecological Economics has been created by artist Joe Decie and published by LSE Library. View and download the cartoon at LSE Research Online. (17 September 2020)

Research co-authored by PBS and the Department of Georgraphy & the Environment at LSE will be presented at an event held by the UK Network of Environmental Economists on 16 September 2020, 12.15pm (BST). The research, co-authored by Dr Ganga Shreedhar, suggests that support for wildlife conservation is boosted when COVID-19 is linked to destruction of nature. Read the full research paper, published in Environmental and Resource Economics here. (16 September 2020)

PBS alumni and faculty including Professor Liam Delaney and Professor Paul Dolan have helped to launch the world's first independent organisation for applied behavioural scientists, GAABS.  More on GAABS here. (2 September 2020)

Dr Grace Lordan, Associate Professor in Behavioural Science, is set to release Think Big, utilizing behavioural insights to help people improve their careers, in 2021 with Penguin. (28 August 2020)

Commitment posters have been used in the US to reduce the number of unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions. A randomised trial in the UK showed these were ineffective & that an automated message pre-appointment showed more promise. Research led by the Public Health England Behavioural Insights (PHEBI) and co-authored by Dr Jet Sanders (LSE). Read the research in Antibiotics. (11 August 2020)

Happier people are more likely to comply with social distancing and shielding at home orders to help suppress the spread of COVID-19. This is the key finding from a new working paper from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), University of Oxford, and University College London (UCL). Read the news article here. (7 August 2020)

National attitudes to welfare recipients are related to political and media spheres, suggests a study of UK political speeches from 1996 to 2016 and 168,000 media reports. Read the research here. This research was led by Celestin Okoroji as part of his PhD thesis. (23 July 2020)

Patient compliment letters reveal the value of ‘extra-role’ behaviours and if properly utilised can improve patient safety and staff well-being, a new study from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) suggests. Read the story. (22 July 2020)

Linking the human destruction of the environment to the spread of Covid-19 increases support for pro-wildlife conservation policy, new research from Dr Ganga Shreedhar and Professor Susana Mourato shows. Read the research in Environmental and Resource Economics. (15 July 2020)

Professor Martin W. Bauer speaks on the relationship between the public and science in the context of Covid-19, organised by UFRGS in Brazil. The discussion was held in light of the 2019 publication The Cultural Authority of Science: Comparing across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas available via Routledge here. Access the presentation slides (in English): Martin Bauer for UFRGS 2020 supporting information (6 July 2020)

Tom Reader & Alex Gillespie published a paper in the Journal of Applied Psychology showing that patient care could be improved if patient reports on unsafe clinical behaviours are systematically used as a metric of hospital safety. Read the paper here. (21 June 2020)

In a discussion paper for IZA Institute of Labor Economics, Grace Lordan and Cecily Josten investigate the impact of personality on responses to health policy, in this case the UK smoking ban. Read the paper here. (21 June 2020)

Dr Jennifer Sheehy-Skeffington was selected by the British Psychological Society (BPS) to join their Poverty Expert Reference Group, charged with working with their Policy Team to carry forward the Society’s priority focus on ‘From Poverty to Flourishing’. (21 June 2020)

PBS Honorary Fellow Jan Stockdale writes a tribute to Bram Oppenheim, who sadly died on 27 April 2020, one of the founding members of the Department of Social Psychology (now PBS) for the British Psychological Society. Read the tribute on the BPS website here. (17 June 2020)

Students who are suffering from symptoms of burnout, defined as exhaustion, cynicism and reduced efficacy,  achieve worse academic results, according to new research from York St John University and London School of Economics and Political Science, that highlights the need for better strategies to counteract stress. Read more. (16 June 2020)

A paper co-signed by Dr Fauquet-Alekhine & Professor Lahlou (SEBE-Lab has been awarded (laureate level 1) at the XVth International PTSCIENCE CPD Competition for Scientific Works organised by the Panrussian Society for Scientific Development. (13 June 2020)

Only 15% of manuscripts explicitly test results derived from psychological theory, bringing in to question whether researchers are working within a theoretical consensus, claims new research compiled by early career researchers including PBS's Nihan Albayrak-Aydemir. Read the report here. (12 June 2020)

A one-size-fits-all approach to encouraging more compliance with social distancing rules, instead of targeting sub-groups, can be ineffective and may even lead to less compliance, a new working paper led by Dr Dario Krpan has found. Read more on LSE news here. (11 June 2020)

Low-income communities in the United States and Europe can learn from bottom-up development policies - people finding solutions for themselves where the state has faltered - like the grass-roots movements we are seeing in the favelas of Brazil says Professor Sandra Jovchelovitch to the Washington Post. Read more. (10 June 2020)

COVID-19 mental-health responses neglect social realities writes PBS alumna (MSc Health, Community and Development & PhD Social Psychology) Dr Rochelle Burgess who says "labelling a condition doesn’t make the social challenges around it disappear." Read the full article in Nature here. (27 May 2020)

PBS faculty (Dr Christian Krekel) and Professional Services  Staff (Will Stubbs) awarded at the LSE's Teaching Excellence Awards. (20 May 2020)

A report from LSE's The Inclusion Initiative (TII), led by PBS Associate Professor Dr Grace Lordan, identifies best practice for virtual inclusion in City of London firms during the pandemic. Read a blog post on the report on LSE Business Review. (5 May 2020)

The UK government’s policy to suppress the COVID-19 epidemic was expected to prevent around 189,000 incremental deaths, with a monetary value of £380 billion — around 17% of GDP — according to new research from Professor Paul Dolan and Pinar Jenkins. Read more on this story and access the report here. (20 April 2020)

Professor Paul Dolan writes for The Spectator about the social and economic costs, as well as the health costs, involved in the coronavirus lockdown measures. Read the full article on The Spectator here. (9 April 2020)

In this article for CNN International, Dr Michael Muthukrishna comments on the reasons why people may find physical distancing hard based on our complex societal structures. Read the article here. (2 April 2020)

Professor Martin Bauer speaks to Aljazeera about the World Health Organisation's decision to use 'physical distancing' rather than 'social distancing' is better for our mental health. Read the article here. (30 March 2020)

LSE launched The Inclusion Initiative (TII), co-founded by Grace Lordan, Associate Professor in Behavioural Science, and Karina Robinson, Master of the Worshipful Company of International Bankers. TII will tackle inclusion from within the firm itself, offering practical interventions based on academic research that aims to understand why people make the choices they do. Visit The Inclusion Initiative website at (6 March 2020)

In this podcast interview for LSEIQ, Dr Michael Muthukrishna about corruption and the many forms it can come in, from bribery, extortion, cronyism, to nepotism – with varying levels of legality. Listen on SoundCloud. (3 March 2020)

Liam Delaney joins PBS as new Head of Department. Read our news story here. (10 February 2020)

Barry Rogers, Visiting Senior Fellow in PBS, was awarded a gold award for excellency in the 2019 Brandon Hall Group Human Capital Management [HCM] Awards for Excellence in Miami, Florida. (7 February 2020)

The LSE Electoral Psychology Observatory formally launched in February 2020, aiming to understand the psychology of voters. Dr Sandra Obradovic has joined the team, bringing her expertise in political psychology. Read more here on LSE News.

Dr Tom W. Reader and Dr Alex Gillespie's article Patient‐Centered Insights: Using Health Care Complaints to Reveal Hot Spots and Blind Spots in Quality and Safety has been recognised as the most highly cited in The Milbank Quarerly's recent publication history. The article was published 11 September 2018 and is available to read on Wiley Online Library here. (6 February 2020)

Director Petra Costa, who studied MSc Health, Community and Development in 2008 in the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science (formerly Department of Social Psychology), has been nominated for Best Documentary for The Edge of Democracy at the 92nd Academy Awards. (14 January 2020)


Dr Ilka Gleibs was interviewed by LSE about her recent research (co-authored with Prof Daniel Frings & Dr Anne M. Ridley of LSEBU) into the challenge of managing different identities and how it can lower undergraduate performance. Read the full interview on the LSE website here. (5 December 2019)

Dr Michael Muthukrishna has written his views on cultural evolutionary public policy, including public policy interventions that aim to tackle harmful traditions such as FGC, for Nature Human Behaviour. Read the article on Nature Human Behaviour here. (5 December 2019).

PBS faculty awarded for excellence in teaching. More information about the LSE Excellence in Education Awards and the full list of winners can be found on the LSE website. (22 November 2019).

Some hyper-realistic face masks more believable than human faces, study suggests. A new study, released in the open-access journal Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, has found a higher than anticipated error rate amongst participants asked to identify a real face from a hyper-realistic face mask when two photographs are side-by-side. Read more in our news article. (21 November 2019)

Does re-framing health messaging lead to higher patient uptake? "Make the most of your life!" "Don't miss out!"Which message will get you to a health check-up? A new trial, co-authored by Dr Jet. G. Sanders, compared the effectiveness of the NHS Health Check invitation letter with gain- and loss-framed messaging to see how they impacted patient uptake. (18 November 2019)

What moderates the attainment gap? A new study into social identity in higher education. Dr Ilka Gleibs has co-authored an article for Social Psychology of Education looking at the issue of attainment gaps in higher education and specifically the effects of social identity incompatibility and practical incompatibility on the performance of students who are or are not Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME). Read the full article in Springer Link here. (6 November 2019)

Are bankers really that bad? A new study from PBS alumni. A new article out now in Nature has addressed the issue of reproductibility, and the increasing issue of replicating findings in 'inaccessible' environments. Zoe Rahwan studied on the Executive MSc Behavioural Science when it launched in 2014. Read the full article in Nature here. (November 2019)

Why plant-based diets are probably not a fad. To mark World Vegan Day (1 November 2019) LSE news have interviewed experts including PBS's Dr Ben Voyer and PhD student Heidi Zamzow who discuss why plant-based diets are not just a flash in the pan, but have strong links to identity. Read the article on LSE news here. (1 November 2019)

New research on identity among white British Muslims. New research out now in the International Society of Political Psychology (ISPP) from PBS PhD student Amena Amer, explores the experiences of identity (mis/non) recognition and strategies of identity performance among white British Muslims. Read the paper in full on Wiley Online Library here. (30 October 2019)

Understanding behavioural intervention strategies. Tackling environmental and social sustainability challenges cannot be done without changes in the everyday behaviours of people. Attempts to, for example, reduce energy consumption at home, increase recycling rates, reduce alcohol and prevent bullying, have popularly (an cost-effectively) been addressed by addressing social norms, such as media campaigns to help direct more positive behaviours. Read the article in full here in Sustainability. (21 October 2019)

A report published in Human Resource Management Journal shows that when employees are provided with a supportive environment to express their religious identity in the workplace they experience increased wellbeing and work more efficiently. The report comprises a literature review of 53 publications on religious beliefs and the workplace and is co-authored by Dr Ilka Gleibs. Read the full report on Wiley Online Library here. (19 July 2019)

In this interview for LSE news, Exec MSc Behavioural Science alumni Ian Hadden (lead author) explains how a short series of precisely targeted writing exercises can significantly improve the academic attainment of school students from low-income families, in this new study by a joint research team from PBS and the University of Sussex. Read the interview on LSE news. (9 July 2019)

Dr Grace Lordan has contributed an analysis of Healthy Minds, a research project by the London School of Economics and Bounce Forward into the ultimate secondary school PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic) curriculum, in light of the UK Government's plans to expand these subjects further by 2020. Read this piece in LSE Centre Piece here18 July 2019 - you can now read more on this in LSE news. (18 July 2019)

The Emirates Foundation has awarded Dr Jennifer Sheehy-Skeffington funding for the project, “Global identity in an uncertain world: A longitudinal study of the development of cosmopolitan social attitudes at an international elite university setting in the Middle East”. The money will fund a longitudinal study of social attitudes in the student population of NYU-Abu Dhabi, to be run in collaboration with PJ Henry at NYU-Abu Dhabi (Psychology) and Christian Haerpfer at United Arab Emirates University (Sociology), commencing in January 2020.

Dr Lucia Garcia-Lorenzo recently spoke at the conference Identity, Creativity and Innovation jointly organised by the Departments of Management and Organisational Psychology at Birkbeck, University of London. The focus of the talk was on how despite entrepreneurship being proposed as a solution to extend working lives in the context of an increasingly ageing population, older entrepreneurs still face discrimination in society and the workplace. Read more about Lucia's research here.

Dr Grace Lordan features in the latest episode of the award winning LSE IQ podcast. On it she talks about her research into gender equality. Listen on LSE player. (18 June 2019)

New research on social influence. Forthcoming research in Personality and Social Psychology Review from Dr Michael Muthukrishna and Dr. Mark Schaller from University of British Columbia uses computational modelling to understand the specific ways in which cross-cultural differences may have long-term consequences for cultural stability and cultural change.

As part of a new publication Responsibility for Refugee and Migrant IntegrationDr Jet Sanders (with Elizabeth Castle, Karen Tan and Rob Jenkins) explores how behavioural science can be applied to refugee integration, in this case through education and employment, and how behavioural evidence can be used to facilitate drivers of integration. Access the publication here.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) have announced new research projects to address issues facing Colombia’s transition from conflict to peace. Pathways to Reconciliation, led by Professor Sandra Jovchelovitch investigates the impact of Schools for Forgiveness and Reconciliation -ES.PE.RE - on the psychological and social wellbeing of victims of the Colombian conflict. Read more on the project on the UKRI website and follow the project on Twitter @reconciliaLSECo 

On 9 June 2019, 11am - 12pm, Professor Paul Dolan will speak about his new book Happy Ever After: Escaping the Myth of the Perfect Life at the Cheltenham Science Festival. Find out more on the Cheltenham Science Festival website.

At LSE's 2019 Festival Joel Suss won the photography prize for his image of a Hong Kong urbanscape. Joel wanted to capture what it can feel like to live in a big city full of vibrancy and crowds and yet feel loneliness, anxiety and social dislocation – issues which many people in places like Hong Kong and London can experience. The LSE Festival 2019 theme was 'New World (Dis)Orders'.

Dr Kate Laffan has been awarded a Marie-Curie Individual Fellowship by the European Commission to study Intention-Behaviour Gaps in Environmentally Significant Consumption Behaviours. 

New study shows a reduction in meat consumption when animals are viewed as "friends". Dr Frederic Basso and PhD student Feiyang Wang provide evidence that exposure to the metaphor “animals are friends”, generates moral (guilt) feelings in meat consumers, which negatively influences their attitudes toward meat consumption and their behavioral intentions to eat meat. Read the article in Appetite here. (July 2019)

Book Release: Happy Ever After by Professor Paul Dolan. On Thursday 24th January in an event chaired by Professor Julia Black, Professor Paul Dolan discussed themes from his new book Happy Ever After.  View the webcast from the event here

UK and Colombian Researchers Working Together for Sustainable Peace. Ten new research projects to address issues facing Colombia’s transition from conflict to peace, including one from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), have been announced by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). Pathways to Reconciliation will be led by Professor Sandra Jovchelovitch and Dr Fabio Idrobo, Santa Fe de Bogota Foundation (FSFB). It will investigate the impact of Schools for Forgiveness and Reconciliation -ES.PE.RE - on the psychological and social wellbeing of victims of the Colombian conflict. Read more here. (11 November 2019)

Gender Pay Gap Could Get Worse. Research by Dr Grace Lordan shows that girls born in the year 2000 are aspiring to do jobs that are paid 31 per cent lower than males. Boys born in 2000, on the other hand, have higher aspirations than previous male generations in terms of income, to the point where the gender pay gap could actually become larger than it is at present if these aspirations are fulfilled. Read more here. (10 October 2019)


Patient Complaints Reveal Quality and Safety ‘Blind Spots’ in Healthcare Delivery. Healthcare complaints made by patients can provide unique insight on aspects of healthcare delivery not easily evaluated by hospitals, a new study from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has found. Read the article (10 October 2018)

Entrepreneurship Research: Dr Michael Muthukrishna. New research lead by Associate Professor in the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science, Dr Michael Muthukrishna, has shown that rates of entrepreneurship are higher in some countries than others and it may be because they are generally less risk-averse and more overconfident. Read the article (20 August 2018)

Podcast: Dr Ilka Gleibs Discusses the Psychology Behind Diversity. Professor Dr Ilka Gleibs discusses on the CB On Air podcast why people need to stop blaming women’s behaviour for a lack of diversity within economics and central banking. (31 July 2018)

ESRC Grant Assessment Panel Appointment. Associate Professor Dr Sophie von Stumm has been appointed to the ESRC grant assessment panel D, which looks after projects on secondary data analysis.

ESRC Celebrating Impact Awards. At the ESRC Celebrating Impact Awards, PHD student Brett Heasman won the Future Promise Prize and was named runner-up of the Outstanding Early Career Impact award. Congratulations to Brett whose work has helped improve public understanding of autism. (June 2018)

Professor Martin W Bauer elected a Fellow of acatech. Congratulations to Professor Dr Martin W Bauer, LSE Psychology and Behavioural Science Department Professor of Social Psychology, who has been elected a Fellow of Deutsche Akademie der Technikwissenschaften [German Academy of Technical Sciences; acatech].

2018 LSE Student-Led Teaching Awards. Congratulations to Assistant Professor in Social Psychology and Economic Psychology, Frederic Basso, who received the Highly Commended, Inspirational Teaching Award at the LSE Student-led Teaching Excellence Awards. (May 2018)

Diet choice research: Dr Dario Krpan. Research by Associate Professor in the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science, Dr Dario Krpan, has shown that frequent vegetarian meal eaters are less likely to select a vegetarian dish when presented with a separate section for this in a menu. Read the article. (13 March 2018)

PBS PhD candidate Nihan Albayrak wins LSE Festival Popular Prize. On Friday 23 February 2018, PhD candidate Nihan Albayrak was awarded the LSE Festival Popular Prize for her work on the ways in which we help the victims of global disasters. You can read an abstract from Nihan's work on the LSE Festival websiteFind out more about Nihan. (23 February 2018)

Open day for our new undergraduate programme. In Autumn 2018, applications for our new BSc in Psychological and Behavioural Science will open. You can find out more about this exciting and unique undergraduate programme from our faculty on 11 April 2018. 


Behavioural Science Hub Seminar: Ashley Whillans. On 30 November, Ashley Whillans spoke at the Behavioural Science Hub Seminar and presented her work, entitled "Exchanging cents for seconds: The happiness benefits of choosing time over money". Watch her presentation here: Ashley Willans (30 November 2017)

Book release: Installation Theory. On Wednesday 18 October in an event chaired by Dame Shirley Pearce, Professor Saadi Lahlou discussed themes from new book Installation Theory: The Societal Construction and Regulation of BehaviourListen to the eventRead the first chapter of Saadi's book, Installation Theory. (19 October 2017)

Professor Sandra Jovchelovitch to speak on importance of schools and parents in childhood and adolescent learning. On 4 October 2017, LSE Latin America and Caribbean Centre (LACC) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) hosted the conference Skills for Development in a Changing World. Prof. Sandra Jovchelovitch spoke as part of a panel discussion on learning during childhood and adolescence, drawing on years of fascinating research. Read (free e-book) Underground Sociabilities by Sandra Jovchelovitch. (4 October 2017)

Publication in nature human behaviour. Dr Michael Muthukrishna has recently published research on the dynamics of corruption, Corrupting Cooperation and How Anti-Corruption Strategies May Backfire DataThis research demonstrates that transparency only reduces corruption in certain circumstances: if economic opportunities exist or if the state has the strength and resources to punish law-breakers. If neither of these circumstances is present, transparency is ineffective—or can even make things worse.  Read more about the story | Read the paper. (10 July 2017)

Important study on autistic perspectives published in the international journal Autism. In the first study of its kind, Brett Heasman (PBS PhD student) and Dr Alex Gillespie used a two-way measure of perspective-taking to show that 'neurotypical' people struggle to imagine autistic perspectives, bringing attention to the many activities, such as job interviews, that rely on how autistic people are seen by others. Read the study (July 2017)

Dr Jana Uher presents research in public lecture. How do we judge others? Are people judged differently for the same things? Watch the presentation. (13 June 2017)