Our lab has a main focus on metascience: the science of science. We aim to understand and improve the ways science is done. We have a special focus on tool development in which we create guidelines or applications that researchers can use in order to make their work better and more efficient. Some examples: SampleSizePlanner, Transparency Checklist, tenzing
We participate in a number of replications every year. Some examples from the currently running projects:
- developing lab manual templates – so that labs can easily integrate best practices in their daily work
- inventing postregistration – to document how much preregistration was followed
In the last years, the lab has explored several methodological and empirical questions in the decision making and reasoning fields. Recently, our interest moved partly to the exploration of the underlying processes in decision making, naming cognitive control. Cognitive control is the mechanism by which we are able to follow instructions and overwrite our immediate responses for some long-term benefits. Very little is known about this mechanism and what influences our success in keeping our control. These questions are best explored in laboratory circumstances and we spent years of research in the development of a bias-free testing procedure. The crucial data collection is about to come…
One of the most important elements in designing and executing successful choice architecture interventions is the proper assessment of influencing environmental, social and psychological factors. Staircase use, for example, is an ideal field of study to show the advantages of prior assessment since numerous studies exist with different intervention methods, but so far only a handful of influencing factors have been considered. With these factors collected, more customized and better-targeted interventions could be performed. Also, steering people towards more frequent staircase use is beneficial and helpful for them in transitioning to a healthier lifestyle.
Poverty and economic inequality
Our lab also works on projects which aim to support the most vulnerable population (poor and uneducated) to make better decisions. We investigate the consequences of economic inequality within communities aiming to identify the psychological, behavioural, and structural barriers which inhibit the poor’s ability to succeed in areas with high economic inequality. In one research project, we investigate how inequality intensifies the financial hardship experienced by the poor. In another project, we identify how and why inequality influences the poor’s trade-offs between time vs money.