Leif Nelson, Professor

Closed (1) The Psychology of Pay-What-You-Want Pricing and Human Interaction

Applications for Spring 2019 are now closed for this project.

My lab uses the techniques of social psychology, behavioral economics, and marketing research. In general, this means a combination of laboratory and field experimentation on human behavior. Current projects are primarily focused on Pay-What-You-Want pricing and human interaction. Following the anecdotal case of Radiohead’s “In Rainbows”, we have experimented with variations of the pricing scheme to identify (a) when people choose to pay very little or very much, (b) the conditions under which a firm might be most profitable using PWYW, and (c) understanding the underlying psychology of the customer in a pay-what-you-want transaction.

Additionally, we are studying the difference between human-human and human-non-human interaction. By manipulating interactions between humans and artificial intelligence in an online chatroom setting, we are looking to examine how interaction differ between communication with artificial intelligence and human and how does the difference may (or may not) affect interpersonal relationship.

Please indicate on your letter that you are applying for The Psychology of Pay-What-You-Want Pricing and Human Interaction.

Undergraduate apprentices will be potentially involved in every phase of the project: conceptualizing study designs, collecting and analyzing data, and presenting those results.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Minah Jung, and Malik Diaw

Qualifications: Required: Some interest in studying human behavior, responsible, and available on specific Tuesdays and Sundays. Desirable, but not essential: having completed one or two courses in psychology and/or economics, interested in language analysis or coding experience in language analysis packages.

Weekly Hours: 6-8 hrs



Closed (3) Behavioral Lab Research

Applications for Spring 2019 are now closed for this project.

In this position you will work with Behavioral Lab Manager on a variety of projects within the Behavioral Lab (BLab) and for the MORS and Marketing groups at Haas. You may be running participants, collecting data in the field, or comparing data sets.

Overall, this apprenticeship entails a commitment of a minimum of 3 hours a week for the semester. Though sometimes hours per individual week may vary. We expect that this will be an excellent learning and hands-on research experience.

Responsibilities include:
- Getting trained on BLab practices and about research procedures
- Attending regular lab meetings and contributing to the functionality of the Behavioral Lab
- Participating in the expansion of BLab’s offerings to the departments and managing projects for BLab
- Helping to run experiments for professors which will involve preparing materials, keeping track of and organizing data files, reserving lab spaces, and managing participants., Staff Researcher

Qualifications: 1) Interested in the conduct of science 2) Motivated, conscientious, and eager to learn Required: - Excellent oral and written communication skills - Superb attention to detail - Ability to collaborate well with others - Ability to lead a room of participants through experiments ** You do not have to have prior psychology research experience to apply to this position **

Weekly Hours: to be negotiated

Closed (4) Judgment and Decision Making

Closed. This professor is continuing with Fall 2018 apprentices on this project; no new apprentices needed for Spring 2019.

This project draws from work in social psychology, behavioral economics, and judgment and decision making. Broadly, we're interested in how framing a situation or problem differently can elicit substantial changes in behavior. Hence, accepted students will be exposed to a variety of topics in judgment and decision making.

For example, current topics include:
-Anchoring: how numerical estimates can be unduly influenced by irrelevant, nearby numbers
-Inter-temporal discounting: how people think about tradeoffs between the present and future
-Pay-what-you-want pricing: how a pricing scheme where customers are allowed to pay nothing is actually profitable

More topics, of a similar type, will likely be added over the course of the semester.

*Please indicate on your letter that you are applying for the Judgment and Decision Making Project.*


Accepted applicants will help develop materials for, run, and analyze data from lab and field studies. Interested students can also receive instruction on experimental design, statistical methods, and relevant literature. (That is, I want this to be useful to you.)

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Hannah Perfecto

Qualifications: All applicants should have a strong interest in psychology and decision making research. Preference will be given to those applicants who have already demonstrated this interest through coursework or other research experiences.

Weekly Hours: 6-8 hrs