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Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab

Department of Psychology

Studying at Cambridge

 

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The Cambridge Social Decision-Making (CSDM) lab explores the social and cognitive psychological processes underlying human social judgment, communication, and decision-making. We are particularly interested in the emergence, spread, and influence of social norms, group consensus, and polarization in shaping basic human cooperation in (real-world) social dilemmas. Examples include climate change, sustainability, public health, voting, charitable giving, and inequality. We are also interested in trust, risk, and uncertainty, public understanding of science, social belief systems, and how insights from our research can help improve societal well-being and behavioral policymaking.

Our work is guided by full-cycle action research, integrating insights from different methodologies and moving continuously from the lab to the field and back. A fundamental guiding principle is that a discipline which aims to explore "the science of mind and behavior" ought to be informed by real-world human social behavior and decision-making. In the words of the great Kurt Lewin; "Nothing is as practical as a good theory, but research that produces nothing but books will not suffice". Accordingly, the Social Decision-Making Lab strives to conduct psychological science in the public interest.