ACE

The CEU Lab in Adaptive Cognition and Economics (ACE) focuses on the study of social motivations and strategic cognition, and, more generally, on the cognitive foundations of social interactions relevant to economics. 

Behavioural economics has taken up the challenge of finding a model of the economic agent that is empirically valid. In the lab, we want to contribute to this task by specifying the traits of real economic agents that only have bounded rationality and yet are surprisingly able to make the most of social interactions. Humans, indeed, are able to cooperate and coordinate like no other species. This ability is at the basis of most of our cultural achievements, but can also be observed in our day-to-day interactions: queuing, tipping, satisfactorily signing and implementing a business contract, working under the promise of being paid for it, etc. Successful coordination, trust and interest in others’ welfare are distinctive features of these social interactions. What psychological bases produce these behaviours? For answering such questions, we gather empirical data on decision making when there are social stakes. Our main method is controlled lab experiments with incentivised decision-making, but we value all relevant scientific methods.

The Adaptive Cognition and Economics group is lead by Christophe Heintz. Prospective students willing to work in the above field of research are encouraged to contact him.