Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Weber, Elke U.
Location Princeton University
Primary Field Psychological and Cognitive Sciences
Secondary Field Human Environmental Sciences
 Research Interests
Weber's Behavioral Science for Policy Lab (BSPL) connects psychological theory to social problems in a two-way dialogue, proving the value of such theory by providing constructive solutions in real-world settings and theory being, in turn, enriched and constrained by those settings. Much of the research draws distinctions between homo economicus and homo sapiens, acknowledging that people's responses to existing or proposed technologies or energy and environmental policies are not entirely rational. Ongoing research explores the full range of human goals and human processes that shape our perceptions and responses to environmental and economic risks, with the objective of designing choice environments that facilitate wiser or more rational responses. Theory draws from cognitive and social psychology, behavioral economics, and related social sciences, and methods include lab and field experiments that collect process data, behavioral outcomes, associated brain activation, and more. Because decisions that impact the sustainability of our energy and economic systems and the quality of our natural environment are made within a social and physical context, recent research has focused on the role and effects of social identity, social networks, and social norms, examining norm clusters and the dynamics of shifts in social norms, and their ability to accelerate change and create tipping points in behavior.

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