Behavioural Science Centre

The Behavioural Science Centre is based in the Economics Division of Stirling Management School and integrates approaches from Economics and Psychology to better understand connections between economic, psychological, and health outcomes and their determinants. We are the only specialist centre within Scotland and one of few in Europe. We are an interdisciplinary group with members coming from a range of backgrounds with expertise in Economics, Psychology, Management, Philosophy and Public Health. This blog provides up to date information about what's going on at the Centre.

News & Events

Jayne Brown wins the SGSS ESRC student-led Open Competition for a PhD scholarship.

Jayne Brown is a recent graduate of the MSc Behavioural Science for Management programme at the University of Stirling. The SGSSS ESRC Open Competion is a very selective and prestigious funder that only supports the most promising candidates.

It is the opinion of the supervisory team that Jayne has developed a highly innovative and well-rounded research proposal that addresses an important and under-researched topic: The importance of behavioural biases for the acceptance of environmental policies. Climate research has reached a quasi-consensus that the use of fossil-fuel energy needs to be dramatically curbed to avert the acceleration of life-threatening climate change. While increasing majorities agree that things need to change in principle, people are often unwilling to change their ways when this is associated with personal sacrifices. In fact, many environmental policies that address climate change tend to be unpopular because they increase the cost to consumers and corporations (e.g. environmental taxes or emissions trading) or because they regulate (and even outlaw) the use of certain products or behaviours that people are unwilling to give up. This constitutes a great challenge for policy makers who need to trade off the benefits of enacting socially optimal (but individually unpopular) environmental policies with the risk of being voted out of office if the electorate perceives these policies as paternalistic overreach. Jayne’s dissertation addresses this dilemma by studying the behavioural nexus that determines public opposition to environmental policies such as a carbon tax. Her proposal has immense impact potential as policymakers will be able to leverage the behavioural insights from Jayne’s research to optimize the design and the communication of climate policies.

We at the Behavioural Science Centre are very happy to welcome her back!

24 May 2021, 07:18pm