Change comes from people like you.

We are a team of researchers committed to study individuals' attitudes and behaviour, their formation and change to improve the way things are done.

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About us

We are a team of academics and educators using applied economic theory and statistical methods to study how people feel, think and behave. We conduct independent research with the aim to inform the design of public policies for the benefit of the people they serve. In addition to advance scientific knowledge, one of our goals is to make the realities of the people we study known to others.

  • The topics of our research include questions related to the lives of common people, often those in challenging circumstances, and how these experiences might change them and what can be done to support them.
  • We use data analysis and rigorous statistical methods to uncover impacts which may not be immediately obvious and evaluate how specific interventions can improve wellbeing.
  • We design surveys and interviews to encourage people to communicate (anonymously) the things that really matter to them.

Featured studies

Does exposure to violence affect reciprocal behaviour?

by Elisa Cavatorta, Daniel John Zizzo and Yousef Daoud

Reciprocity is a central element of school-aged children's education and growth. Experience of violence, harassment and abuse might shape the way children perceive others and internalise ways of behaving which make cooperation with others more difficult to achieve.

  • Young Palestinians (aged 16-18) faced with the obligation to cross a checkpoint on a regular basis display more reciprocal behaviour: they cooperate more when others also do and they retaliate more frequently against unfriendly actions when others are unfriendly.
  • Part of these differences are due to violence creating more distrustful views about the behaviour of others.

Download the academic paper .

Why repressive policies are a barrier to peace.

by Elisa Cavatorta and Ben Groom

Human actions are determined by the perceived gains and costs and the trade-offs between those occurring in the present and the future. The perceived gains/costs are evaluated based on a set of preferences, the most important of which are the attitudes over risk, uncertainty and temporal trade-offs.

  • Repressive initiatives originally intended to deter people from committing actions of resistance may change the way people appraise the benefits of resistance and bring about more opposition rather then less.
  • Palestinian people living close to the Israel-West Bank separation wall become more risk-tolerant, ambiguity averse and impatient than those unexposed to the wall, and this effect is amplified for people both exposed to and isolated by the wall.
  • Deterrence through repressive policies might not work as expected and instead create backlash.

Download the academic paper .

Can digital health treatments mitigate the detrimental impact of anxiety on performance?

by Elisa Cavatorta, Simona Grassi and Mark Lambiris

Anxiety often triggers unconscious behaviours that are associated with poorer performance in cognitive tasks. Women, who suffer from anxiety more than men, may be more severely penalised by anxiety.

  • Cognitive Bias Modification reduces a cognitive bias associated with anxiety: the tendency to disproportionately allocate attention to negative stimuli, which diverts cognitive resources and reduces performance under stress.
  • CBM reduces attention bias and improves the cognitive performance of females in the treatment group.
  • CBM is inexpensive and easy to administer and might be a viable alternative to available anxiety treatments.

Download the academic paper .

Learn and discover

Assess your personality, explore the data from our studies, learn about statistics and start your own research.

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What is your attitude towards uncertainty?

Make your own data analysis from our data: coming soon

Are you a Palestinian student in grade 9, 10, 11 or 12?

Call To Action

Help us make our research as inclusive as possible. Take part in our research: we are interested in what you think and find important. Sign up and you will be contacted when the next study available to you is launched.

By participating you can earn rewards, learn about research, contribute to scientific progress and connect with people.


Here are the people who make up our team.

Elisa Cavatorta

Associate Professor, King's College London Behavioural Economics, Policy Evaluation, Quantitative Methods

Mille Bugge

MPhil student in Economics, University of Oxford Economic Development

Ben Groom

Professor, University of Exeter Economic Development, Climate Change

Richard Koenig

PhD student, King's College London Economic Development, Quantitative methods

Simona Grassi

Assistant Professor, King's College London Health Economics, Economic Theory

Giuseppe Trovato

Computer Science, Data Analytics


Our research is generously funded by

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