Norwegian version

Cultural Selection and Behavioural Economics - CSBE

We investigate large-scale behaviour and its cultural consequences by integrating conceptual, experimental and applied behaviour analysis.

Our research group members have a variety of backgrounds, such as behaviour analysis, psychology, economics, and social sciences. In order to facilitate the dissemination of knowledge and cooperation, we arrange periodical workshops and seminars focusing on different areas and approaches, such as cultural selection, behavioural economics and general system theory.

Head of research group

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  • Members

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    • More about the research group

      The research group belongs to the Department of Behavioural Science, at the Faculty of Health Sciences. Our research focuses primarily on the following aspects:

      • A behavioural systems approach;
      • Contingencies for cooperation (and competition);
      • Homo economicus vs. the selectionist perspective;
      • Culture: relatively stable collective practices, even though members are exchanged.
    • Research projects

      Analysis of cultural phenomena from the behaviour analytic point of view

      We extend the functional analytical terminology of behaviour analysis to cultural analysis in order to establish a technical language of adequate scope and precision to deal with the functions of groups. This language deals with the survival contingencies for a system, which are also referred to as metacontingencies and is applied to all kinds of social systems. We are currently working with corruption behaviour, tag and graffiti culture, and different social systems combating tax evasion. It applies to legal systems, as well as to organisations and businesses. In our research group, cultural phenomena are also analysed from an 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 an experimental analysis how cultural practices are selected, transmitted, and maintained; moreover, it tests novel conceptual assumptions.

      Behavioural economics

      Our research group is interested in the study of behavioural economics from a behaviour analytic perspective. This approach includes the study of consumer behaviour, addressing specifically the experimental analysis of user and consumer choice. Furthermore, it includes the study of behavioural insights (i.e., applying evidence from human behaviour to policy and community issues), and the application of the selectionist perspective to "rational" choice concerning health, environment, and wellbeing. We also study human decision making using the discounting paradigm from a behaviour analytic perspective. Discounting research explores the tendency to value immediate consequences disproportionally and inconsistently compared to delayed consequences. This research contributes to refining new methods for understanding impulsivity, procrastination, and addictive disorders, such as pathological gambling and substance abuse.

      Complexity and organisational behaviour management (OBM)

      Complexity theory highlights relations, structures and interdependence between agents in social systems. The study of complexity usually aims at understanding how interactions at the local level may affect the emergence of new patterns of behaviour at the system level. The recognition of complexity brings many implications for organisational research. Broadly speaking, complexity theory uncovers emergent organisational structures to identify feedback loops and patterns of interaction that can either restrain or facilitate system adaptation. 

      Organisational behaviour management (OBM) is a branch of applied behaviour analysis concerned with the study and influence of behaviour in industrial and organisational settings. Traditionally, the three main areas of interest focus on performance management, behaviour-based safety, and behavioural systems analysis. We work with goal setting and performance feedback for improving organisational practices and productivity.

    • PhD dissertations

      • Sigridur Sigurjonsdottir. Organizational Behaviour Management in the public sector: The use of self-management to increase.
      • Hilde Mobekk. The concept of time management: A behavioural economics perspective with focus on behaviour analysis.
      • Jan Folkmann Wright. Behaviourial risk management. Decision-making to mitigate major risks, e.g. the Covid-19 pandemic.
      • Flora Moura Lorenzo. Metacontingencies applied to the Good Behaviour Game: Effects in classrooms and cross-sector practices in Education and Health.
      • Helena Slapø. The impact of behavioural economics interventions on food choices in grocery stores.
      • Magnus Johansson. Evolving nurturing societies.
      • Marco Tagliabue. Contingencies of economic and organizational cooperation: Foundations and applications of a cultural-selectionist approach to choice behaviour.
      • Laurilyn Jones. Topographic bias and variability within non-criterial components of the operant class.
      • Tete Kobla Agbota. Petty corruption examined through behaviour analytic perspective.
      • Lucas Couto de Carvalho. Schedules of cultural selection: Analyzing contingencies and metacontingencies of social interaction.
      • Kalliu Carvalho Couto. Selection of cultures and cultural selection: Implications for experimental and applied research.
      • Elise Frølich Furrebøe. Impulsivity and procrastination: Examining the reinforcing contingencies of delay discounting in humans.
    • Collaborations

      • Center for Education and Human Sciences (CECH), Universidade Federal de São Carlos, Brazil.
      • Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at Virginia Tech, USA.
      • Business, Law, Economics, & Consumer Behaviour, International University of Language and Media (IULM), Italy.
      • Psychological Methodology and Biopsychology (IPMB), Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany.
      • Faculty of Human and Social Sciences, Kore University, Italy.
      • Instituto de Psicologia, University of Brasília, Brazil.
      • Department of learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
      • College of Health and Public Service, University of North Texas (UNT), USA.
      • Cenpes – Petrobras Research Center.
    • The research group on social media