Clayton Critcher, Professor

Closed (1) The Psychology of Forecasting, Politics, Consumer Behavior, and Morality

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In my lab, we work on a variety of topics at the intersection of social psychology, judgment and decision making, and consumer behavior. Almost all questions are addressed with the use of behavioral experiments. At present, we are answering questions like the following:

*If a politician is called out for lying on Twitter, how do his or her supporters rationalize it away?

*Why is it that shoppers are more likely to put a greater variety of flowers in bouquets they build themselves than in pre-made bouquets they purchase from a florist?

*Would you as an entrepreneur rather seek out investors with a big ask (meaning you might need just one angel investor but are going to get rejected most of the time) or with a lower-dollar ask (meaning your chance of success at each meeting is greater, but you'd need a lot of successes)?

*If a friend of yours invites you but not another mutual friend you'd like to include for dinner, should you say something to the one left out or are you better off keeping mum so as not to create any drama?

The common theme across our different lines of research is we identify psychologically relevant phenomena in the real world (in social, economic, moral, and political domains) and then dissect them in the laboratory to understand why they occur.

Most studies take place in lab space at the Haas School of Business, though we will have to be a bit more creative in terms of data collection (using online and nontraditional methods) in light of the current pandemic.

Undergraduates will work directly with Professor Critcher. Students will help to generate ideas for research studies, will take part in meetings with Professor Critcher and other students, will coordinate and conduct research experiments, and will code and analyze data. Apprentices will learn how to apply the scientific method to answer basic questions in psychology and consumer behavior. Once URAPs have worked a full semester with Professor Critcher, they are eligible to attend lab meetings with other advanced URAPs, PhD students, and faculty.

Qualifications: Priority will be given to students who have interests in or experience with social psychology and/or judgment and decision making. Basic familiarity with research design is a plus, but is not required. Students must be highly disciplined, detail-oriented, well-organized, and highly conscientious.

Weekly Hours: 9-11 hrs

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