European Research Council award grant of 2million Euros to WBS professor of behavioural science
WBS Professor Nick Chater, Head of the Behavioural Science Group, has been awarded a prestigious European Research Council Advanced Grant (ERC) to explore the "Cognitive and Social Foundations of Rationality." The grant of 2 million Euros runs for five years.
The Award will allow Professor Chater to focus intensively on research, and provide funding for a research team consisting of a research fellow, four PhD students, and laboratory and IT support. It is scheduled to begin in the Spring of 2012.
Professor Chater said, "I'm absolutely delighted to have received this Award. It gives me the opportunity to focus on long term and 'big picture' research issues. This project will allow us to reconsider the question: "How rational is human thought and behaviour?" from the viewpoint that rationality itself cannot be defined a priori, but depends, in subtle ways, on how the mind works.
"These are fundamental scientific and philosophical questions, but the project also has implications for business and politics. Effective policy-making must work with the 'grain' of real human thought and behaviour, rather than building policies for perfectly rational agents."
Dean of WBS, Professor Mark Taylor, who was instrumental in setting up the Behavioural Science Group, commented, "I'm delighted that Professor Nick Chater has been awarded this prestigious ERC Advanced Grant. I believe this is the first of many significant successes for our Behavioural Science Group. In bringing Behavioural Science into WBS we made a bold decision that sets us apart from other business schools, and that is a key part of our strategy to become the leading European university-based business school."
The Behavioural Science Group at WBS was founded in 2010, and aims to be a world-leading centre for research at the interface of the natural and social sciences, focussing on fundamental questions concerning rationality and decision making, as well as business and policy issues. It draws on a range of social-science and science disciplines including psychology, economics, epidemiology, decision science, statistics, and neuroscience.