Located in the UCD Geary Institute in Dublin, the behavioural science and policy group is a centre for research and collaboration on integrating behaviourally-informed ideas into public policy. The research team consists of a core group of faculty, researchers and PhD students, a wide network of research affiliates and external stakeholders. Our aims are to contribute in a meaningful way to the international development of the field of behavioural science and to be a key site for the integration of this field into public policy.

Please get in touch (leonhard.lades@ucd.ie) if you are interested in behavioural science research and applications in Ireland (and beyond) and/or would like to know more about the group.

Our Research

Using methodologies such as lab and field experiments, surveys, secondary data analysis, and economic theory, we conduct research on many topics within behavioural economics and behavioural science more broadly. These topics include:

  • Psychological determinants of decision-making (e.g. self-image and identity, social image, emotions, self-control).
  • Subjective well-being.
  • Economics and mental health.
  • Ethical uses of behavioural insights.
  • Administrative burden and “Sludge”.
  • Political behaviour and preferences.
  • Discrimination.
For more details on our research, visit Academic Publications and Resources.

Outreach and Events

We host many Events, including a weekly seminar on behavioural science and policy, an annual national conference on economics and psychology, an annual European PhD conference, an annual research group workshop, keynote lectures from many of the leading figures in the field, and regular meetings of the Irish Behavioural Science and Policy Network. We hosted the 2019 conference of the International Association for Research in Economic Psychology.

For more details, visit our Events page.


Faculty members teach on the UCD Social Science and Economics programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate level, including dedicated undergraduate modules on behavioural economics and experimental economics. We also deliver the MSc in Behavioural Economics, supervise PhD students in the area of behavioural economics, and teach in Environmental Policy MSc and BSc programmes.

Our research has been funded by a range of public, private, and research council sources, including AIB, European Commission, and core support for scholarships and faculty development from the UCD School of Economics. We engage with many external agencies, including Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, Department of Health, Beaumont Hospital, Environmental Protection Agency, and Amarach Research, and have collaborations with researchers in universities and research agencies throughout the world.

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