PB413E Half Unit
Frontiers in Behavioural Science Methods
This information is for the 2018/19 session.
Dr Matteo Galizzi
Dr Dario Krpan
This course is compulsory on the Executive MSc in Behavioural Science. This course is not available as an outside option.
Behavioural science is the scientific study of human behaviour, and it combines research techniques from psychology and economics. The course offers an integrated training in advanced behavioural science methods by introducing students to state-of-the-art techniques that stretch across the spectrum of both disciplines. The course covers the following topics: measuring preferences, attitudes, beliefs, willingness-to-pay; determining evidential value of behavioural science research; behavioural game theory and experimental games of strategic interaction; designing behavioural priming experiments and measures that tap into implicit cognition; state-of-the-art physiological research techniques; understanding the mechanisms behind behavioural effects by employing experimental-causal-chain, measurement-of-mediation, and moderation-of-process designs.
2 hours and 30 minutes of lectures, 2 hours of lectures, 6 hours of lectures, 6 hours of lectures, 1 hour and 30 minutes of lectures and 6 hours of seminars in the ST.
The course is delivered over 5 intensive days of teaching:
• Lecture 1 (2h 30min): Intro; Advances in Experimental Design; Mechanisms, Moderators, Mediators; Mediation and Moderation in a Regression Framework; Understanding the Mechanisms Behind Behaviour Change: Experimental-causal Chain, Moderation-of-process, and Measurement-of-Mediation Designs [MG, DK].
• Lecture 2 (2h): Measuring Preferences, Attitudes, Beliefs: the State-of-the-art [MG]
• Lecture 3 (1h 30min): Strategic Decision-Making: Introduction to Behavioural Game Theory [MG]
• Lecture 4 (1h 15min): Behavioural Game Theory: Applications [MG]
• Seminars (2h, 2 groups): Moderation and Mediation Using Stata [MG, DK]
• Lecture 5 (1h 30min): Behavioural Priming Techniques [DK]
• Lecture 6 (1h 15min): System 1 In Action: Capturing Implicit Cognition: [DK]
• Seminars (2h, 2 groups): Building a Simple Game of Strategic Interaction Using ZTree [MG]
• Lecture 7 (1h 30min): Determining evidential value of behavioural science research: undisclosed flexibility in data collection, dance of p-values, p-curve [DK]
• Lecture 8 (1h 15min): Determining evidential value of behavioural science research: computing p-curve, p-curve vs. meta-analysis [DK]
• Seminars (2h, 2 groups): Building a Simple Task to Measure Implicit Cognition [DK]
• Lecture 9 (1h 30min): Advances in Survey Design for Online, Lab, and Field Experiments [MG]
• Lecture 10 (1h 15min): Beyond Economics and Psychology: State-of-the-art Physiological Research Techniques [MG, DK]
• Seminars (1h 30min, 2 groups): Building a Simple Behavioural Science Experiment Using Qualtrics Survey Software [MG, DK]
Students will be expected to produce 1 piece of coursework in the ST.
For the formative assignment, you will need to produce a brief research proposal plan (500 words) that will serve as the basis for the full research proposal (3000 words) that will constitute your summative assignment. In the research proposal plan, you will propose a design and implementation of a behavioural science experiment entailing the use of (at least) two different software packages introduced in the seminars. The structure of the proposal plan should be as follows: a) Introduce a viable research question (on a topic of your choice) that will guide your experimentation; b) Describe how you would design and implement behavioural science research to answer the question; and c) Explain which statistical approaches covered in lectures and seminars you would use to analyse the data. To write the research proposal plan, please follow the lines of a pre-analysis plan (PAP) which is increasingly common in behavioural science (for an example, see www.psychologicalscience.org/publications/psychological_science/preregistration). Feedback received for the formative assignment will help you to prepare the summative assignment by identifying both strengths and weaknesses of your approach.
Angrist, J.D., Pischke J-S. (2015). Mastering ‘Metrics: the Path from Cause to Effect. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Camerer, C.F. (2003). Behavioral Game Theory: Experiments in Strategic Interaction. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Dijksterhuis, A., Chartrand, T. L., & Aarts, H. (2007). Effects of Priming and Perception on Social Behavior and Goal Pursuit. In J. A. Bargh, J. A. Bargh (Eds.), Social psychology and the unconscious: The automaticity of higher mental processes (pp. 51-131). New York, NY, US: Psychology Press.)
Förster, J., & Liberman, N. (2007). Knowledge activation. Social psychology: Handbook of basic principles, 2, 201-231.
Gawronski, B., & De Houwer, J. (2014). Implicit measures in social and personality psychology. Handbook of research methods in social and personality psychology, 2, 283-310.
Hayes, A. F. (2013). Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis: A regression-based approach. Guilford Press.
Darlington, R. B., & Hayes, A. F. (2016). Regression analysis and linear models: Concepts, applications, and implementation. Guilford Publication.
Harrison, G.W., List, J.A. (2004). Field experiments. Journal of Economic Literature, XLII, 1009-1055.
Simonsohn, U., Nelson, L. D., & Simmons, J. P. (2014). P-curve: a key to the file-drawer. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 143(2), 534-547.
Spencer, S. J., Zanna, M. P., & Fong, G. T. (2005). Establishing a causal chain: why experiments are often more effective than mediational analyses in examining psychological processes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89, 845-851.
Proposal (100%) in the ST.
For the summative assignment, you will be required to expand the research proposal plan submitted as part of the formative assignment into a full research proposal comprising 3000 words. Your task will be to propose a design and implementation of a behavioural science experiment entailing the use of (at least) two different software packages introduced in the seminars. The structure of the proposal should be as follows: a) Introduce a viable research question (on a topic of your choice) that will guide your experimentation; b) Describe how you would design and implement behavioural science research to answer the question; and c) Explain which statistical approaches covered in lectures and seminars you would use to analyse the data. To write the research proposal, please follow the lines of a pre-analysis plan (PAP) which is increasingly common in behavioural science (for an example, see www.psychologicalscience.org/publications/psychological_science/preregistration). In the proposal, we will expect you to use in-text scholarly citations and provide a reference list at the end. The summative assignment should allow you to not only demonstrate your knowledge regarding the present course, but also to gain deeper insights into experimental analysis and design that should help you in producing a high-quality dissertation.
Department: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Total students 2017/18: Unavailable
Average class size 2017/18: Unavailable
Controlled access 2017/18: No
Value: Half Unit
Personal development skills
- Team working
- Problem solving
- Application of information skills
- Application of numeracy skills
- Specialist skills