Stirling Behavioural Science

The Behavioural Science Centre was formed in 2012 and is based in Stirling University. It is an interdisciplinary research centre which brings together approaches from economics and psychology to address the key questions in society, such as how to better understand and foster economic and industrial prosperity, decision making and behaviour, and health and well-being. The Centre is co-directed by Professor Liam Delaney and Professor Alex Wood.

At the Behavioural Science Centre we ask key societally relevant questions by integrating perspectives and skill sets from economics, psychology, and medicine. Some of the current questions we are asking include; (1) why people make poor decisions, (2) what leads people to accept constitutional change, (3) why socio-economic status is linked to obesity, (4) how emotions relate to physical health, (5) how to improve subjective living standards, (6) what are the consequences of unemployment, (7) why do people differ in reaction to life events, (8) and how to improve pension savings.

For each of these questions, an economist, psychologist, and health care researcher would likely have an opinion and consider it an area of mainstream research in their field. However, commonly, each of three would likely have a different approach, knowledge base, answer, and practical recommendation - and often none would be aware of each others' research! We believe that the fastest advances in science are often achieved when knowledge and skills, commonly accepted in one discipline, are introduced to another where they may be revolutionary (and vice versa). At the Behavioural Science Centre we have teams of leading researchers with backgrounds in economics (led by Prof Liam Delaney), psychology (led by Prof Alex Wood), and behavioural medicine (led by Dr Michael Daly), who work closely together to integrate the approaches from their disciplines to answer a given question. Some objective benefits of our approach can be seen through research funding and publications.

If you are interested in joining the Centre as a PhD student, see here for a description of what a PhD in Behavioural Science would entail and here for a description of the culture of the Centre and the week-to-week working life.

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