Events and seminars
MBBL Symposium 2022
The annual MBBL Symposium 2022 will be held in late November with an aim to bring together esteemed researchers around the world and in Australia to discuss a range of behavioural methods and data collection approaches, including eye-tracking, skin conductance, EEG, and psychometric measurements.
The Symposium is interdisciplinary in nature and creates opportunities for collaboration between researchers associated with the MBBL, academics leading in their field, and practitioners interested in applying behavioural research.
More details are coming soon…
Eye-tracking research group seminars
Our interdisciplinary eye-tracking research interest aims to build research capability by bringing together users from across the behavioural disciplines to share their experiences and insights gained from the use of eye-tracking and related methods.
These meetings facilitate work-in-progress presentations, meetings can accommodate multiple project presentations, those interested to present or discuss their work at any meeting can contact the facilitator, Professor Harmen Oppewal (firstname.lastname@example.org).
23–24 November 2021
Held over two evenings, 23 November 8.00–10.10pm AEDT and 24 November 8.00–9.50pm AEDT, the annual MBBL symposium brought together esteemed researchers around the world and in Australia to discuss a range of behavioural methods and data collection approaches, including eye-tracking, skin conductance, EEG, and psychometric measurements.
The Symposium was interdisciplinary in nature and brought together researchers associated with the MBBL, academics leading in their field, and practitioners interested in applying behavioural research.
A total of 88 participants from different universities, institutions and industries around the globe attending the Symposium. There were five presentations in eye-tracking research of which two studies were collaborative projected conducted by researchers at Monash Business School and the speakers.
The discussions and Q&A produced further insights into findings from empirical research that utilised eye-tracking machines to measure emotion expressions and monitor behavioural reactions in various business contexts. The Networking activities were effectively conducted via the breakout room function in Zoom, in which 3-5 participants were located into each virtual room for networking and discussion. Both sessions of the Symposium were wrapped up with Panel Discussion, looking at emerging issues around the presented studies and implications for future research.
A/Prof Boris van Leeuwenn
Boris van Leeuwen is an Associate Professor at the Department of Economics of Tilburg University. Before coming to Tilburg, he was a Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST) and the Toulouse School of Economics (TSE). He obtained his PhD at CREED, the experimental economics group of the University of Amsterdam. He is primarily interested in experimental and behavioral economics.
Dr Shengchuang Feng
Shengchuang Feng is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre for Lifelong Learning and Individualised Cognition (CLIC) of Nanyang Technological University. He received his doctoral degree in psychology at Virginia Tech in 2020, and was a postdoctoral associate at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute of Virginia Tech. His research interests include social cognition, reward-guided learning/decision making and related disruptions in mental disorders such as depression, addiction, and anxiety. He uses computational models, self-report measures, and functional magnetic resonance imaging to understand both behavioural and neural mechanisms of social/nonsocial cognition in healthy people as well as in mental illnesses.
Dr Elizabeth Bowman
Dr Elizabeth Bowman is Postdoctoral Fellow in Decision Neuroscience in the Brain, Minds and Markets Laboratory in the Department of Finance in the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Melbourne. Her current research looks at how variations in neurotransmitters may affect how people make complex optimisation decisions and decisions under risk and uncertainty. This includes pharmacological, eye tracking and pupillometry investigations of how humans make decisions under conditions of varying computational complexity.
Dr Milad Haghani
Milad Haghani is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering of the University of New South Wales (UNSW). He is a multidisciplinary researcher, but the main core of his work resides at the intersect of transportation and safety, with a special focus on human factors. He teaches Road Safety & Traffic Psychology at UNSW. He has contributed extensively to the areas of crowd dynamics and evacuation modelling in both numerical and experimental fronts, and has also pioneered innovative applications of econometric choice methods in those domains. He has been first or sole author of nearly fifty research articles. In his previous work, he has also undertaken extensive empirical investigations of hypothetical bias in choice experiments, particularly in non-monetary choice applications.
A/Prof Kristian Rotaru
A/Prof Kristian Rotaru is a decision scientist working in the Department of Accounting, Monash Business School. His latest research focuses on risk analysis, professional judgement in managerial accounting and auditing, affective decision making in everyday economic behaviours, neurocognitive and functional correlates of addiction, and on designing and testing interventions for behavioural change. He collaborates with a number of research labs, including BrainPark (Monash University), The Clinical Psychedelic Research Lab / Paul Liknaitzky Lab (Monash University), and Brain, Mind and Markets Lab (University of Melbourne). In 2018, he was presented with the Commonwealth Bank Award for Financial Wellbeing at The Behavioural Exchange Conference (BX2018) for his research on behavioural interventions associated with developing financial skills training schemes.
Tuesday 23 November
|Time:||8.05 – 8.30pm (11.05 – 11.30am CET)|
|Speaker:||A/Prof Boris van Leeuwen|
|Title:||“The Strategic Display of Emotions”|
|Authors:||Daniel L. Chen, Astrid Hopfensitz, Boris van Leeuwen, Jeroen van de Ven|
The emotion that someone expresses has consequences for how that person is treated. We study whether people display emotions strategically. In two laboratory experiments, participants play task delegation games in which managers assign a task to one of two workers. When assigning the task, managers see pictures of the workers and we vary whether getting the task is desirable or not. We find that workers strategically adapt their emotional expressions to the incentives they face, and that it indeed pays off to do so. Yet, workers do not exploit the full potential of the strategic display of emotions.
|Time:||8.35 – 8.55pm (11.35 – 11.55pm CET)|
|Speaker:||Dr Shengchuang Feng|
|Title:||“The Effects of Oxytocin on Self- and Other-Regarding Reinforcement Learning”|
|Authors:||Shengchuang Feng, George Christopoulos, Pearl H. Chiu, Brooks King-Casas|
Previous studies on oxytocin (OT) and social reward learning focused on rewards delivered to the learners themselves (self-regarding learning). OT’s effects on learning about rewards delivered to others (other-regarding learning) and related neural mechanisms are poorly examined and understood. By applying a double-blind, placebo (PL)-controlled, within-participant design, we used a probabilistic social learning task and computational modeling to show that intranasal administration of OT decreased other-regarding learning rates in healthy adult males, whereas self-regarding learning rates and valuations of rewards for oneself or others were unaffected. In the PL condition, we also discovered a novel effect that when choices always led to losing for oneself, the participants’ learning for others was worsened if not completely eliminated. Our study provides new evidence of OT’s effects on how humans learn about reward contingencies of their actions affecting other humans—a cornerstone of cooperative/competitive behavior—and suggests important implications for the use of OT in therapeutic interventions for psychiatric disorders.
|Time:||9.15 – 9.35pm (12.15 – 12.35pm CET)|
|Speaker:||Dr Elizabeth Bowman|
|Title:||“Pupil size reflects computational complexity of decisions in humans”|
|Authors:||Elizabeth Bowman, Kristian Rotaru, Pablo Franco, Carsten Murawski|
This project examined how computational complexity and cognitive load affect pupil response during complex decisions. 73 participants aged between 18 and 35 years (52 female, 21 male) completed 72 trials of the decision knapsack task. Each trial consisted of a 5- to 7-second grey fixation screen, followed by the knapsack decision task where participants were given up to 25 seconds to decide if a combination of any of the six items displayed on the screen could be found to satisfy a both minimum value and maximum weight constraint. After the knapsack decision screen, participants were required to enter the number (1-digit or 6-digit) they were asked to memorise at the start of the trial. Mixed-effects modelling of participant responses found a strong effect of instance complexity, and of satisfiability, on trial performance. However, only an inconsistent effect of memory load was found. Participants also spent significantly less time solving knapsack trials of lower instance complexity, and the relationship between instance complexity and time taken significantly predicted performance on a trial. Pupil diameter change was correlated with instance complexity. These results demonstrate that the computational complexity of a task is detected by the participant, and reflected in the effort-related pupil response, well before the decision is signalled through behaviour.
Wednesday 24 November
|Time:||8.05 – 8.30pm (11.05 – 11.30am CET)|
|Speaker:||Dr Milad Haghani|
|Title:||“Hypothetical bias in stated choice experiments: A review”|
|Authors:||Milad Haghani, Michiel C.J. Bliemer, John M. Rose, Harmen Oppewal, Emily Lancsar|
Hypothetical bias (HB) concerns whether and to what extent choices of survey participants in response to hypothetical products and settings, and subsequent inferred estimates, translate to real-world settings. This project reviews empirical evidence and mitigation strategies for overcoming HB in discrete choice experiments in four fields where choice experiments have been prominent: environmental economics, health economics, marketing and transportation. It also reviews evidence from experimental psychology and behavioural neuroscience. Results suggest mixed evidence for the prevalence, extent and direction of HB as well as considerable context and measurement dependency. The presentation will present an overview and discuss an example case.
|Time:||8.50 – 9.15pm (11.50 – 12.15pm CET)|
|Speaker:||A/Professor Kristian Rotaru|
|Title:||“What motivates people to pay their taxes? Four experiments on tax compliance”|
|Authors:||Eric Floyd, Michael Hallsworth, John A. List, Robert D. Metcalfe, Ivo Vlaev, Kristian Rotaru|
In this study, we present a large natural field experiment (n = 105,379 UK taxpayers) that tested messages aimed at increasing tax compliance. We find that the main drivers of changes in compliance are messages describing the monitoring behaviour of the tax collector. A second natural field experiment (n = 204,936 UK taxpayers) built on the results of the first experiment to further investigate what kinds of costs resulting from tax collector oversight are salient to taxpayers. Specific financial incentives did not increase payment rates, whereas stating non-specific costs of inaction did. Additional analyses suggest the increase in compliance is likely due to a 'fill in the blank’ effect in which taxpayers assume the consequence is a fine. Interestingly, specifically stating jail time consequences has the largest effect in a laboratory setting. Overall, our study reinforces that tax authorities can use short messages to increase tax compliance; the estimated accelerated revenue from the two studies amounts to £9.9m.
28 August 2020
Previous economics literature has explored the role of visual attention on choice in isolation without accounting for other influences such as habits and goals or learning effects, nor their interrelationship. This presentation summarised a recent paper by Dr Miranda Blake in the Journal of Business Research which developed a novel joint framework to explore the relationship between visual attention, observed heterogeneity from stated habits and goals, and choice outcomes while accounting for shorter- and longer-term learning effects. The analysis used an eye-tracked discrete choice experiment on sugar-sweetened beverage purchasing. The presentation focussed on learnings for eye-tracking and behavioural researchers.
Miranda Blake is a research fellow in the Global Obesity Centre (GLOBE), where she holds an Institute for Health Transformation post-doctoral fellowship to investigate business outcomes of healthy food retail initiatives. She is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian and her research focuses on implementation of healthy food policy and retail interventions. Miranda currently leads projects including the VicHealth-funded Water in Sport project in council-owned sporting facilities, online added sugar labelling experiments, and healthy vending machine interventions. Translational partners include VicHealth, local governments, and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services. She is a PhD graduate from the Monash School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine (SPHPM). The project she will be presenting was jointly funded by Monash Business School and the Faculty of Health.
A conceptual framework and review
8 May 2020
Facilitated by Professor Harmen Oppewal, we discussed the paper:
- Components of visual perception in marketing contexts: a conceptual framework and review
Kevin L. Sample, Henrik Hagtvedt & S. Adam Brasel
Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science volume 48, pages405–421(2020)
27 March 2020
Eye-trackers have typically been used to gain insights into the cognitive processes and decision making of people in everyday environments. This presentation discussed some of the most recent advancements in the field that will fundamentally shape the way we engage with this technology in the future.
Avni (PhD La Trobe) is a neuroscientist and lecturer in bioscience. He applied eye-tracking to the study of signature legibility and complexity. He is also co-founder of a company which conducts eye-tracking research. He teaches at ACU and Endeavour College of Natural Health.