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


LSE Behavioural Lab joins the European Commission’s €10million funded PERISCOPE consortium to study the effectiveness of COVID-19 policy messages on compliance behaviours.

20 October 2020

Read the story in full here.

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LSE IQ podcast on perfectionism with Dr Tom Curran

6 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? The latest episode of LSE IQ explores perfectionism.

Listen the podcast on LSE Player here.

Find out more about Tom's research on perfectionism here.


Happier people were more compliant with lockdown restrictions

24 September 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.

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PBS alumni write about the downside of making decisions in a group for Harvard Business Review

22 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.


The impact of conservation videos on charitable donations: PBS research captured in illustration

17 September 2020

A comic strip visualisation of the 2020 article 'Experimental evidence on the impact of biodiversity conservation videos on charitable donations' by Ganga Shreedhar and 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.


PBS research to feature at UK NEE event

16 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). Details here.

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.

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PBS alumni help launch world's first independent organisation for applied behavioural scientists

2 September 2020

Executive MSc Behavioural Science alumni and faculty from PBS including Liam Delaney and Paul Dolan, along with global leaders in the field have launched the first independent organisation for applied behavioural scientists.

The aim of GAABS (Global Association of Applied Behavioural Scientists) is to represent the interests of applied behavioural scientists, primarily working in the private sector. More on GAABS here.

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Dr Claire Papaix and Dr Daniel Fujiwara join PBS as Visiting Fellows

1 September 2020

We are delighted to welcome Dr Claire Papaix & Dr Daniel Fujiwara to PBS as Visiting Fellows.

Claire is Senior Lecturer of Transport & Business Logistics at the Business Faculty of the University of Greenwich. Her research interests focus on the links between urban mobility and wellbeing. Find out more about Claire.

Daniel is CEO of Simetrica-Jacobs and specialises in the measurement, ethics and quantification of wellbeing. Read about Daniel's work and research interests.


Grace Lordan to launch new book in 2021

28 August 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.

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Lowering the use of antibiotics: effective behavioural interventions

11 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.

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Happier People are More Likely to Comply with Lockown Conditions

7 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.


Social attitudes of unemployed people are linked to political and media framing

23 July 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. 

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Patient compliment letters can improve patient care and staff wellbeing

22 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.

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COVID-19 & the environment: a narrative that could help shape pro-wildlife policy

15 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.

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Professor Martin W. Bauer speaks on the relationship between the public and science 

6 July 2020

On the 2 July 2020, Martin Bauer discussed the relationship between science and the general public in the context of Covid-19, organised by UFRGS in Brazil.

Four questions were raised: 

1. COV-19 is putting science into the public spotlight; how will this episode affect the history of the Science-Society relationship?

2. Much is talked about STEM subjects in this context (science, technology, engineering and mathematics); in what way is this 'boundary work'?

3. Social media are centrally involved in the COV-19 crisis; does this damage the sciences?  

4. What can we do to improve the relations between the sciences and society? 

You can watch the discussion (in Portuguese) on YouTube here (subtitles available).

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) below:

Martin Bauer for UFRGS 2020 supporting information

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Patient reports on unsafe clinical behaviours are an untapped tool for improvments in patient care

21 June 2020

Tom Reader & Alex Gillespie recently 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.


The impact of personality on adhering to the UK smoking ban

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.

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From Poverty to Flourishing

21 June 2020

Jennifer Sheehy-Skeffington was selected by the British Psychological Society 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’. 

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Tribute to Bram Oppenheim

17 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.

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Burnout leads to worse academic achievement in school, college and university

16 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.

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LSE tool for studying human behaviour awarded

13 June 2020

A recent 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.

The paper was an abstract exposing what can be made with SEBE, quoting SEBE-Lab members' contributions: processes of making decisions in real organisational settings, children care, consumer behaviors,and  improvement of vocational training or educational methods at school. More than just the recognition of the paper, it is the recognition of all the members' work of the SEBE-Lab.

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Only a small amount of research actually tests psychological theory

12 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.

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Blanket approach to increasing compliance with social distancing unhelpful

11 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.


“The pandemic will never be defeated through top-down policies”

10 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.


Amena Amer

Congratulations Dr Amena Amer!

4 June 2020

PhD candidate Amena Amer passed her viva today with no corrections, after the gruelling three hour examination took place online. 

Amena's research examines the racialisation of Islam and its effects on the construction, negotiation and performativity of identity on white Muslims in Britain. More news soon

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PBS alumna writes for leading academic journal Nature on mental health and COVID-19

27 May 2020

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

Read the full article in Nature here.


PBS awarded at LSE's Teaching Excellence Awards

20 May 2020

Nineteen Faculty and Professional Services Staff were recognised at the LSE Student Union (LSESU) Teaching Excellence Awards in May. The nominations, made by students, highlighted the commitment that each makes to teaching and the student learning experience. 

A full list of the nominees and the winners are below:

  • Barry Rogers
  • Ben Shenoy
  • Bradley Franks
  • Cathy Nicholson + Sandra Obradovic
  • Celestin Okoroji
  • Christian Krekel (winner)

  • Dario Krpan
  • Frederic Basso
  • Ganga Shreedhar
  • Ilka Gleibs
  • Jennifer Sheehy-Skeffington
  • Lucia Garcia-Lorenzo
  • Michael Muthukrishna
  • Miriam Tresh
  • Sandra Jovchelovitch
  • Sandra Obradovic
  • Tom Reader
  • Will Stubbs (winner)

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COVID-19 and the City

5 May 2020

A new 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 the full report on the TII website.

Read a blog post on the report on LSE Business Review.


UK Government’s COVID-19 policy shift estimated to prevent around 189,000 incremental deaths, valued at £378 billion

20 April 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 Paul Dolan and Pinar Jenkins. Read more on this story and access the report here.


What is the true cost of the coronavirus lockdown?

9 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.

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Humans are terrible at social distancing. Here's why and what to do about it

2 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.

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Why 'physical distancing' is better than 'social distancing' 

30 March 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.

Is Corruption Innevitable for LSEIQ

Is corruption inevitable? LSEIQ interview with Michael Muthukrishna

March 2020

In this podcast interview for LSEIQ, 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.

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New LSE initiative to improve inclusion in City firms

6 March 2020

A new LSE initiative will use behavioural science insights to recognise and improve inclusion within City of London firms that will also benefit the bottom line. 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, 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 TII website here.


Liam Delaney joins PBS as new Head of Department

10 February 2020

Professor Liam Delaney will join PBS as Head of Department for the Deaprtment of Psychological and Behavioural Science at LSE from the new academic year in 2020, taking over from Professor Paul Dolan.

Read on here.

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Barry Rogers awarded a gold award for excellence

7 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.

The award, in the Best Results of a Learning Program category, was a joint submission with a leading European multinational company. It is based around Barry’s research on developing a context-based visualization tool for practicing post-program learning commitments in the workplace. 

Barry Rogers said:


I am thrilled with this. My teaching at the LSE has always focused on bridging the gap between theory and practice. The award recognizes how we can take novel ideas from the classroom and creatively make a difference to people’s lives in the workplace.  It validates what real-world impact looks like on a day-to-day basis

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LSE Fellow Sandra Obradovic joins LSE Electoral Psychology Observatory

February 2020

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

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Article on patient-centred insights is most cited in recent publication's history

6 February 2020

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 describes the Healthcare Complaints Analysis Tool (HCAT), a tool to analyse patient complaints that can provide an end‐to‐end account of care that includes concrete details not captured in incident reports or case reviews.

The article was published 11 September 2018 and is available to read on Wiley Online Library here.


PBS awarded for our dedicated Professional Services Staff

30 January 2020

Will Stubbs, Programme Manager for MSc programmes in PBS has been awarded for his dedication at the LSE Values in Practice Awards. 


PBS Alumna Nominated for an Academy Award

14 January 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. 


Dr Ilka Gleibs interviewed for LSE news

5 December 2019

Dr Ilka Gleibs has been 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.

Dr Michael Muthukrishna

Cultural evolutionary public policy

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.

Teaching excellency awards

PBS faculty awarded for excellence in teaching

22 November 2019

On Thursday 21 November, LSE hosted the Excellence in Education Awards, honouring those who have demonstrated outstanding teaching contribution and educational leadership in their departments, with a large number coming from PBS.

Dr Frederic Basso said:

"When I teach, I always keep in mind that students are not looking for an expert of the next obsolete intellectual domain but rather for knowledge that can be meaningful in their everyday life."

Dr Matteo Galizzi said:

"There is always one more link, one more example, one more intuition that I can use to illustrate a concept or tool: every year I learn from the students how to teach the same course in different and diverse ways"

Dr Dario Krpan said:

“When I was a student myself, I was frequently bored during lectures, and this personal experience always motivates me to create the lectures that excite the students and make them engaged, the lectures that I would not fall asleep at if I were a student.”

More information about the LSE Excellence in Education Awards and the full list of winners can be found on the LSE website.


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Some hyper-realistic face masks more believable than human faces, study suggests

21 November 2019

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.

NHS Leaflet

Does re-framing health messaging lead to higher patient uptake?

18 November 2019

"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. 

Read the full article in BMC Public HealthApplying behavioural science to increase uptake of the NHS Health Check: a randomised controlled trial of gain- and loss-framed messaging in the national patient information leaflet here.


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.


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.

This article, authored by Zoe Rahwan (lead author), Dr Barbara Fasolo (Programme Director Executive MSc Behavioural Science) & Erez Yoeli follows on from a 2014 study and takes a look at banking culture and the supposed 'dishonesty' in the profession, across three continents (as opposed to one continent in the original study) to find that, actually, bankers aren't so bad after all.

Zoe Rahwan studied on the Executive MSc Behavioural Science when it launched in 2014.

Read the full article in Nature here.


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.

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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.


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. 


The closest to the actual action, and the closest to the social pressure, the better

PBS researchers have now collected over 90 studies where behavioural intervention strategies have been tested to understand the types and contexts of these interventions & to suggest elements that should be taken into account to design more integral and sustainable interventions. 

Read the article in full here in Sustainability


Expressing religious identity at work is good for staff wellbeing

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.

You can also read about the report in an interview with Dr. Ilka Gleibs on LSE News and in a piece for People Management.


Targeted writing exercises can help reduce educational attainment gap

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.


Healthy Minds

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 here.

18 July 2019 - you can now read more on this in LSE news.

Healthy Minds was funded by the Education Endowment Foundation and trialled in 34 schools over 5 years. 

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New events from Prof. Saadi Lahlou

Prof. Saadi Lahlou will give a keynote speech on the Psychosocial Pact, How we Construct a Common Reality at the 10th International Conference of Indigenous and Cultural Psychology in Yogyakarta, Indonesia (4 - 6 July 2019). More here.

Prof. Saadi Lahlou has also been invited to be a "grand witness" and give an analysis of the European Controversies event which looks at the state of affairs in agriculture and food. Saadi will be speaking on Wednesday 15 July in Bergerac, France. More information here.

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Jennifer Sheehy-Skeffington awarded funding for international project

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.

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"The identity paradoxes older entrepreneurs face"

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.


Are we giving children mixed messages? New LSE IQ Podcast

18 June 2019

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.


PBS PhD news

  • PhD student Nihan Albayrak-Aydemir will present her research entitled "Helping refugees: Identity effects on political support, helping intention, and helping behaviour" in the European Congress of Psychology (2-5 July, Moscow/Russia).
  • PhD students Celestin Okoroji (who will chair), Amena Amer, Nihan Albayrak-Aydemir and Andy Stewart, and Dr. Ilka Gleibs (organiser) at a symposium entitled "Religious identities in context: Challenging traditional explorations of religious identity in psychological research" in the Annual Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology (12-15 July, Lisbon/Portugal).
  • Nihan has also been elected to SPSSI's Graduate Student Committee as Membership Coordinator, Member-at-Large to serve in 2019/2020.
Dr Michael Muthukrishna

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 (coming soon).

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Dr. Jet Sanders contributes to new publication on refugee & migrant integration

As part of a new publication Responsibility for Refugee and Migrant Integration, Dr. Jet Sanders (with Elzabeth 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.


Prof Sandra Jovchelovitch leads new research project in Colombia

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 

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Professor Paul Dolan to speak at the Cheltenham Science Festival

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.

Follow this event on Twitter #cheltscifest.


PBS PhD student Joel Suss wins photography prize 

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'

Kate Laffan

Marie-Curie Individual Fellowship Awarded

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. 

Kate received her PhD in 2018 from the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science, studying issues relating to behaviour, well-being and the environment. Kate continues to carry out research at the intersection of economics and psychology aimed at producing policy-relevant insights which can help to address environmental challenges and promote human wellbeing.  


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.

Anthropomorphizing meat animals through the friendship metaphor could thus facilitate animal protection, reduce meat consumption and, incidentally, promote a more sustainable plant-based diet worldwide. 

Read the article in Appetite here.

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Book Release: Happy Ever After

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

If you missed the event, an intimate Q&A and book signing session has been scheduled for the 11th of February, 2019. 

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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. 


Gender Pay Gap Could Get Worse

New 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

More news from the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science 



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


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

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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. 

Listen to the full podcast

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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.

"I am delighted for the opportunity to serve on an ESRC grant assessment panel”, said Dr Von-Stumm. “And to help ensure that the ESRC funds high quality research with academic, economic and societal impact."

"I am particularly excited to serve on the panel that considers proposals for projects on secondary data analysis. Secondary data analysis is key to tackling the challenges that social science faces today”.

The appointment is for 2 years in the first instance, during which the panel will meet 8 times and fund approximately 30 projects. Congratulations to Sophie!

Brett Heasman

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.

Read more

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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 newly elected a Fellow of Deutsche Akademie der Technikwissenschaften [German Academy of Technical Sciences; acatech].

Acatech recognises life-long scientific achievements, and Professor Bauer belongs to a group of only 26 scientists who were elected as new members in 2017.

Members of acatech support policy-makers and society in various inter-disciplinary projects, providing qualified technical evaluations and forward looking recommendations on topics that stretch from energy, digitalisation, new mobility, AI to Industry 4.0.


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.

The event recognises and celebrates those who have helped shape students education and staff members who have made a difference to their time at LSE.

"I am proud to receive this commendation", said Basso. "And would like to take the opportunity to thank all my amazing students. It continues to be a real pleasure to work with them each and every year".

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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


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 website.

Find out more about Nihan


Open day for our new BSc

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. There are two presentations to choose from:

11 April 2018, 12.15 - 1pm and 2.45 - 3.30pm in Room 4.02, Clement House (CLM) [Map here]


Ashley Whillans

Behavioural Science Hub Seminar: Ashley Whillans 

On November 30th, 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 Ashley Willans
Installation Theory copyright image

Book release: Installation Theory 

On Wednesday 18th October in an event chaired by Dame Shirley Pearce, Professor Saadi Lahlou discussed themes from new and soon to be released book Installation Theory: The Societal Construction and Regulation of Behaviour.

Listen to the event

Read the first chapter of Saadi's book, Installation Theory

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Professor Sandra Jovchelovitch to speak on importance of schools and parents in childhood and adolescent learning

On 4th 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. 

Find out about the conference

Read (free e-book) Underground Sociabilities by Sandra Jovchelovitch

Look through 'Bottom-up social development toolkit'

Dr Michael Muthukrishna

Recent 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


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

Dr Jana Uher speaking at an LSE public lecture on personality

Dr. Jana Uher presents research in public lecture

How do we judge others? Are people judged differently for the same things?

Watch the presentation


Dr. Philippe Fauquet-Alekhine honoured as ISBS Fellow and Life Member

Congratulations to PBS research student Dr. Philippe Fauquet-Alekhine who has been honoured as ISBS Fellow and Life Member, the highest honour bestowed by the International Stress and Behavior Society (ISBS) for his work on the mental stress of teams operating complex systems such as nuclear reactors and aircrafts.


Congratulations to our teaching award winners

We're so proud of everyone in our department who was recognised on Wednesday evening for their exceptional teaching and student mentorship. Winners included graduate teaching assistants, Brett Heasman and Sandra Obradovic, as well as faculty members, Ilka Gleibs and Frederic Basso, and visiting fellow, Cathy Nicholson. Congratulations to you all!


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How did we get so interested in science? Oliver Hochadel joins the next London Public Understanding of Science semi……

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RT @CassSunstein: BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY - out today, and FREE to the world for 2 weeks. Discusses COVID-19, climate change,…

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