PB413E Half Unit
Frontiers in Behavioural Science Methods
This information is for the 2020/21 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: transparency and reproducibility of behavioural science research, pre-registration, pre-analysis plan; determining evidential value of behavioural science research, p-curve analysis; advances in experimental design; 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; understanding the mechanisms behind behavioural effects by employing experimental-causal-chain, measurement-of-mediation, and moderation-of-process designs.
9 hours of lectures, 3 hours and 45 minutes of lectures, 3 hours of seminars and 4 hours and 30 minutes of seminars in the ST.
Lecture 1 (1h 30’): Intro. Advanced Considerations in Experimental Design. Measuring Preferences and Attitudes: the State-of-the-art [MMG, DK]
Lecture 2 (1h 30’): Determining Evidential Value of Behavioural Science Research: Undisclosed Flexibility in Data Collection, Dance of P-values, P-curve analysis, Pre-Registration, Pre-Analysis Plan, Multiple Hypothesis Testing. Introduction to Systematic Reviews of the Literature and Meta-analyses. [MMG, DK]
Seminar 1 (1h 30’): Transparent and Reproducible Research Practices in Practice Building a Simple Behavioural Science Experiment Using Qualtrics Survey Software [MMG, DK].
Lecture 3 (1h 30’): Behavioural Priming Techniques [DK]
Lecture 4 (1h 15’): System 1 In Action: Capturing Implicit Cognition: [DK]
Seminar 2 (2h): Building a Simple Task to Measure Implicit Cognition [DK]
Lecture 5 (1h 30’): Strategic Decision-Making: Introduction to Behavioural Game Theory [MMG]
Lecture 6 (1h 15’): Behavioural Game Theory: Applications. Introduction to Non-Linear Regression Models [MMG].
Seminar 3 (2h): Running, Playing and Analysing Simple Games of Strategic Interaction Using Veconlab and zTree. Non-linear Regression Models Using Stata [MMG].
Lectures 7 (1h 30’): 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 Part 1 [DK].
Lectures 8 (1h 15’): 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 Part 2 [DK].
Seminar 4 (2h): Moderation and Mediation Using Stata [DK].
Lecture 9 (1h 30’): Beyond Economics and Psychology: State-of-the-art Physiological Research Techniques for the Behavioural Science. [MMG, DK]
Seminar 5 (1h 30’): State-of-the-art Physiological Research Techniques in practice.
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 (3,000 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. 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.
Cassidy, S. A., Dimova, R., Giguère, B., Spence, J. R., & Stanley, D. J. (2019). Failing Grade: 89% of Introduction-to-Psychology Textbooks That Define or Explain Statistical Significance Do So Incorrectly. Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science, 2, 233-239.
Darlington, R. B., & Hayes, A. F. (2016). Regression analysis and linear models: Concepts, applications, and implementation. Guilford Publication.
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.
Harrison, G.W., List, J.A. (2004). Field experiments. Journal of Economic Literature, XLII, 1009-1055.
Miguel, E., Camerer, C.F., Casey, K., Cohen, J., Esterling, K.M., Gerber, A., Glennerster, R., Green, D.P., Humphreys, M., Imbens, G., Laitin, D., Madon, T., Nelson, L., Nosek, B.A., Petersen, M., Sedlmayr, R., Simmons, J.P., Simonsohn, U., & Van der Laan, M. (2014). Promoting transparency in social science research. Science, 343(6166), 30-31.
Mitchell, M.N. (2015). Stata for the Behavioural Sciences. Stata Press.
Moher, D., Liberati, A., Tetzlaff, J., Altman, D.G., & the PRISMA Group (2009). Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses: the PRISMA Statement. Annals of Internal Medicine, 151(4), 264-269.
Munafo, M.R., Nosek, B., Bishop, D.V.M., Button, K.S., Chambers, C.D., Percie Du Sert, N., Simonsohn, U., Wagenmakers, E.J., Ware, J.J., & Ioannidis, J.P.A. (2017). A manifesto for reproducible science. Nature Human Behaviour, 1(1), 0021.
Simonsohn, U., Nelson, L. D., & Simmons, J. P. (2014). P-curve: a key to the file-drawwe. 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.
van't Veer, A. E., & Giner-Sorolla, R. (2016). Pre-registration in social psychology—A discussion and suggested template. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 67, 2012.
Simmons, J. P., Nelson, L. D., & Simonsohn, U. (2011). False-positive psychology: Undisclosed flexibility in data collection and analysis allows presenting anything as significant. Psychological science, 22(11), 1359-1366.
Proposal (100%) post-summer term.
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 3,000 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. 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.
Important information in response to COVID-19
Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.
Department: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Total students 2019/20: 1
Average class size 2019/20: Unavailable
Controlled access 2019/20: No
Value: Half Unit
Personal development skills
- Team working
- Problem solving
- Application of information skills
- Application of numeracy skills
- Specialist skills