The Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science is a unique and special place within the LSE community for several reasons. The most important of all, however, is the impeccable research culture that lies at its very core.
The department was set up over 50 years ago by a group of social psychologists who were interested in the study of psychology and society. Fast forward to today, that group evolved into what is currently the hub for ground-breaking research in psychological and behavioural science. It is a community of faculty, researchers, intellectuals and students who are at the forefront of studying the human experience through the societal lens.
At the heart of the research agenda of the department are real world practical problems. The idea is simple: pick pressing issues with real-world impact to examine, conduct research that is firmly based in theoretical principles, and produce results that can impact practical contexts to solve those issues. This is the unique differentiator of the department. At the core of both, research and teaching in the department, lie these very real-world practical contexts to ensure that students are able to tackle challenging issues and apply efficient solutions across the domains of policy, business and even society at large.
The department is truly diverse with faculty and research specialists that bring interdisciplinary expertise and use a host of research techniques to produce cutting-edge research. There are several research disciplines ranging from behavioural science and economic psychology to organisational psychology and social and cultural psychology; many research themes spanning from planetary health to crisis and conflict, the psychology of inequality to wellbeing. If that wasn’t enough choice already, these research disciplines and themes draw from and feed into each other producing an abundance of combinations across the various disciplines and themes. So really, your research ideas can lie anywhere within this broad spectrum and they will still find a place in the mosaic of the department.
A quick glimpse into the currently ongoing research at the department will demonstrate this: climate change and sustainability, risk-taking, workplace culture and wellbeing, ethical consumption, health and science communication, global emergencies, decision-making, cultural change, and the list goes on. These issues are being addressed using a wide-range of innovative research techniques and methodologies with focus on producing results that can have useful practical implications.
With access to some of the best facilities in the world, like the Behavioural Lab for Teaching and Research, students have the opportunity to conduct fascinating controlled experiments to study human behaviour. There are also opportunities to undertake fieldwork, both within and outside of the UK. PhD students can collaborate with faculty in research workshops, publications and even teaching. Presenting your work at international conferences and publishing your research in reputable journals is highly encouraged within the department and allows you to gain excellent experience in preparation for your career post the PhD.
The resolute determination to drive change, sustained focus on solution-oriented research and extensive expertise provide the outstanding foundation that make the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science a class apart.