Scope of work

Analysis of cultural phenomena from the Behavior Analytic point of view

We extend the functional analytical terminology of behavior analysis to cultural analysis in order to establish a technical language of adequate scope and precision to deal with the functions of collectives of people, dealing with the survival contingencies for a system, or meta-contingencies. This applies to all kinds of social systems, and we are currently working with corruption behavior, tag and graffiti culture, and  different social systems combating tax evasion. It applies for legal systems, as well for organizations and businesses.In our lab, cultural phenomena is also analysed from a experimental perspective. We are working on the development of experimental models using both,  human and animal models. This approach enables an investigation of cultural phenomena in a controlled environment and provide a experimental analyse how cultural practices are selected, transmitted  and maintained , as well as the testing novel conceptual assumptions.

Consumer behavior and behavioral economics

Our research group is interested in consumer behavior, looking at social media marketing, experimental analysis of consumer choice, behavioral economics (incorporating individual behavior and organizational behavior), and human-computer interaction. We also study human decision making using the discounting paradigm under a behavior analytic perspective.  The discounting research explore tendencies to value immediate consequences disproportionally over delayed consequences. This research contributes to new methods for understanding impulsivity, procrastination, consumer decision and addictive disorders, such as pathological gambling and substance abuse.

Dropout rates in higher education

Dropout rates in higher education are a socially important problem, exceeding 35 % in most countries. The lab addresses study habits, teaching methods and the student – system interaction to see how to increase retention. We use behavioral techniques to change systems systematically and examining the effects on those systems. This includes a  classroom experiment where we set up an inter-teaching intervention which gave significant results or specifically a grade point average increase of 0.94. As of now We are examining how an partially automated feedback system can impact retention and quality in an online school and we are exploring why students leave higher education before completion. These elements are tied closely together and hopefully we can gain some insight into the retention challenge that exist in higher education today.