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About Belss

There are two aspects to BELSS.

First, it is a first-rate lab for experimental research and teaching in social science. It can host experiments with up to 24 subjects seated in cubicles which allow subject-privacy. Each cubicle is equipped with monitor & mouse allowing interactive decision-making in computerized experiments which are launched and managed from a separate computer-control station. The lab is equipped with a large projector screen and a whiteboard, and a separate room where subjects can be privately paid. BELSS administers a recruiting system with hundreds of student subjects in its database. (If you are a student, please consider signing up using the link we provide!).


Second, BELSS provides an intellectual home and meeting place for scholars who overlap in their experimental interests and beyond. This is useful in light of recent cross-disciplinary trends in social science. For example, consider economics which traditionally used sophisticated mathematical and econometric methods, but relied on rather simplistic assumptions about human nature. Research in neighboring areas, by contrast, generally used less sophisticated analytical methods while entertaining a richer description of man. Now, there is a new kid on the block – behavioral economics – which combines strengths, incorporating psychological insights into economic analysis with continued use of sophisticated analytical tools. One background is a wealth of evidence, often experimental, identifying empirical phenomena that are not adequately explained by traditional economic analysis. New models are developed that incorporate emotions, fairness, reciprocity, social norms, bounded rationality, myopia, etc. The research often builds on game theory, which provides flexible tools for this purpose. Research is often done hand-in-hand by theorists and experimenters, many scholars having a foot in each camp. By its nature, the research is cross-disciplinary. Economists are informed by fields, such as psychology, sociology, philosophy, and the neurosciences. In return, behavioral economists offers models, experimental techniques, and modes of thinking that can enhance the research of scholars outside economics, also in fields such as accounting, marketing, management, finance, and decision science. BELSS is dedicated to being a supporter of this development.

Last update 05 May 2017 - 16:56:14