Leif Nelson, Professor

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

Open. Apprentices needed for the fall semester. Please do NOT contact faculty before September 11th (the start of the 4th week of classes)! Enter your application on the web beginning August 16th. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, August 29th at 8 AM.

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 Phoebe Wong

Qualifications: Required: Some interest in studying human behavior, responsible and available on Wed night (5-10 pm). 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: 6-9 hrs

Related website: http://www2.haas.berkeley.edu/Faculty/nelson_leif.aspx

Closed (2) Leadership in Unusual Contexts

Check back for status

This project investigates the effectiveness of leadership attributes in unusual contexts.

Leadership is a highly contentious construct. Within the social psychological and organizational research fields there is considerable disagreement on the definition and meaning of leadership and whether leaders have a meaningful impact on organizational performance. This project seeks to explore leadership in unusual contexts and understand whether specific leadership attributes have a positive or negative effect on individual and group performance.

We are seeking to hire up to 15 research assistants (from any major) to work with more experienced researchers and graduate students.

Over the course of the semester Research Assistants will receive regular training on standard statistical tools including basic statistical software used in research analysis as well as survey and excel which have proved useful skills in subsequent internships and employment.

Strong researchers will be given the opportunity to join our social psychology and business research lab at the end of the semester. The lab comprises top performing researchers from across the university who work with a number of faculty at Berkeley and other top research universities. Past alumni from our lab have gone on to graduate schools (MD, MS, JD, PhD) or work in finance (Investment banking, management consulting, accounting), law, or non-profit (government, the red cross).



Our goal is to have students participate in as much of the research process as possible. We need highly conscientious and motivated students with an interest in better understanding leadership.

Responsibilities will include:

(1) viewing videos of conversations and entering in numeric codes for different behaviors,
(2) preparing study materials,
(3) conducting literature reviews, and
(4) assisting with laboratory experiments.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Angus Hildreth

Qualifications: Qualifications: We value diversity so all majors and schools welcome to apply. Conscientious. Motivated. Proactive. Team-player. Attention to detail. Sense of fun. Students interested in social/personality psychology and organizational behavior are highly encouraged to apply. Computer programming / web design skills a plus but not required. Fraternity /Sorority membership also a plus but not required.

Weekly Hours: 6-9 hrs

Related website: http://http://angushildreth.com/lab.html#labOverview

Closed (3) Enjoyment, Social Signals and Behavior Change: Understanding the Psychology of Online Social Networks

Closed. This professor is continuing with Spring 2017 apprentices on this project; no new apprentices needed for Fall 2017.

This lab aims to answer the following broad questions using approaches from behavioral economics, judgment/decision making and social psychology (combining data from mobile app companies, lab procedures and field experiments):

- The psychological effects of sharing experiences with others on online social networks
- The effectiveness and enjoyment of certain mobile-based health training programs (such as running apps)
- How "pinning" a product on Pinterest can change actual purchase intentions
- How people may derive utility or pleasure from digitally collecting unattainable goods
- The role of symbolic ownership. Does virtual consumption replace real consumption?
- What kinds of social signals are implied by Facebook or Pinterest use?

Applicants to this project may also be assigned work on other projects related to the above during periods of downtime or additional need.

2 to 3 candidates will be chosen. Selected research apprentices will help develop, launch, and run research projects/experiments related to the above (description) questions.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Scott Roeder

Qualifications: Preference will be given to those with the following characteristics or skills: - A moderate to strong knowledge of online social networks - Interest in psychological research and experimentation - Proactive, punctual and critical thinkers - Ability to read, understand and discuss findings from academic research (journals) - Experience with SPSS is beneficial (but not required)

Weekly Hours: 6-9 hrs

Closed (4) Judgment and Decision Making

Closed. This professor is continuing with Spring 2017 apprentices on this project; no new apprentices needed for Fall 2017.

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: 6-9 hrs