The research initiative combines sociological, psychological, and behavioral economic perspectives to deal with social and economic research questions on decisions in a new and unique context: How are decisions made collectively and individually? How can these findings be applied to politics and business?

The initiative brings together approaches and findings from "social labs" with those from "economic labs". In the former, different stakeholders work internally in a structured group process on a common problem solution, while the latter are established for the controlled and causal investigation of human behavior and decisions. The underlying notion is the reciprocity of the analyses: The evaluation method "economic labs" is used to investigate the methods of the "social labs", and vice versa, solutions are generated in the "social labs", which can be tested in the "economic labs" in behavioral economics.

The findings of this research initiative can be widely applied, for example with regard to the behavior and decisions of people in the environmental and health sectors.

Collective and individual decisions in business and society

The economy, society and policies that influence them are based on collective and individual decisions. Understanding such decisions is key to understanding economic and social phenomena and processes.   The IHS is researching structures and processes that enable the application of these findings as a basis for "better decisions".