PB413      Half Unit
Experimental Design and Methods for Behavioural Science

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Matteo Galizzi and Dr Dario Krpan


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Behavioural Science. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

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: randomised controlled experiments in behavioural science, causality, selection bias; behavioural science experiments spanning the continuum spectrum from the lab to the field; principles of experimental design; best practices in modern behavioural science experiments; measuring preferences, attitudes, beliefs, willingness-to-pay; 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; tests of hypotheses and sample size calculations for experiments in theory and practice; p-curve analysis; regression analysis of experimental data in theory and practice; understanding the mechanisms behind behavioural effects by employing experimental-causal-chain, measurement-of-mediation, and moderation-of-process designs.


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the MT.

The course is delivered in Michaelmas Term over 10 lectures of 1 hour (1 per week, over weeks 1-5, and 7-11) and 10 weekly seminar sessions of 1 hour (1 per week, over weeks 1-5, and 7-11).

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy.

Lectures and Seminars:

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Week 10

Week 11

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 presentation in the LT.

For the formative assignment, you will work in small groups (3-4 students) to produce a 15-minute presentation in which you will need to propose a design and implementation of a behavioural science experiment. Alternatively, you can focus on a piece of research that has already been conducted and produced the data you are planning to use in the future, and you can analyse the design and implementation of this research. More precise instructions about the assignment will be given to you at the start of the course.

Indicative reading


Report (100%) in the ST.

You will be expected to write a 3,000 word report. The reports will need to be submitted individually and will require you to elaborate individually on the group-work undertaken as part of the formative assignment. More precise instructions about the assignment will be given to you at the start of the course.

Key facts

Department: Psychological and Behavioural Science

Total students 2018/19: 11

Average class size 2018/19: 10

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills