Behavioral Economics Lab

Two students posing in front of lab equipment.

About the Lab

The Behavioral Economics Lab at Utah State University explores how human and nonhuman behavior may be positively influenced through curated environmental design. These research lines has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIDA and NICHD), the National Science Foundation, and the US Department of Agriculture. 

Current Students 

Behavior Econ Lab
Psychology
Grad - Behavior Analysis
Directory
Katie Garland

Katie Garland

Graduate Student - Behavior Analysis

A02363846@usu.edu

Program Rep
Behavior Econ Lab
Grad - Behavior Analysis
Psychology
Directory
Saba Mahmoudi

Saba Mahmoudi

Graduate Student - Behavior Analysis

A02352463@usu.edu



Research Opportunities

Current Projects

Reducing Impulsive Choice 
Our lab has published several studies investigating training techniques that can produce large and long-lasting reductions in impulsive choice in rats (e.g., Peck et al., 2020; Renda & Madden, 2016; Rung et al, 2018; Stein et al., 2013, 2015). The long-term goal of this research line is to develop a curriculum for improving self-control in young children. In accord with the groundbreaking research of Dr. Walter Mischel, such improvements in delay gratification may promote success and prevent poor decision-making.

With NIH fundings, our lab is currently exploring Pavlovian procedures for reducing impulsive choice in rats. The goal is to develop an intervention that requires very few training sessions and that could be practically implemented in translational settings, such as classrooms. Such an intervention could help to prevent the poor decisions that lead to health and well-being deficits.

Behavioral Economic Research
We are currently collaborating with researchers at the University of Utah to develop a behavioral-economic intervention designed to reduce unnecessary driver idling is park-and-wait areas, such as at hospitals and elementary schools. Patients and children who are outside idling vehicles are more impacted by poor air quality than those in the vehicles. Our project, funded by the National Science Foundation, is leveraging social norm messages to encourage drivers in these areas to shut off their engine

Involvement

Potential PhD students interested in working with the Behavioral Economics Lab or Dr. Gregory Madden should contact him directly by email: greg.madden@usu.edu. Many incoming PhD students in the Behavioral Economics Lab receive full-time research assistantships and full tuition awards. The Psychology Department also offers support to sudents in the form of travel and research support.   

Gregory Madden

Gregory Madden

Professor - Behavior Analysis Specialization

Phone: 435-881-8477
Office Location: EDUC 498