The Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) was established in 2007 by the Faculty of Social Science at University of East Anglia.  The Centre's mission is to further the long tradition at UEA of using controlled laboratory and field experiments to study key questions in the social sciences, from foundational and methodological issues to applied research.

Together with our colleagues at the University of Nottingham and University of Warwick, we are founding members of the ESRC Network for Integrated Behavioural Science.

Researchers in CBESS are currently pursuing three main themes of research. The Preferences and Cognition cluster ask fundamental questions about how humans form judgments about uncertainty and values.  The Competition and Strategic Reasoning cluster investigate how individuals anticipate and react to actions of others, and solve tensions between competitive and cooperative incentives.  The Behaviour and Institutions cluster study how culture, society, and identity come together to influence how groups interact.

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New Working Paper


Attention and Novelty: An Experimental Investigation of Order Effects in Multiple Valuation Tasks, by Cameron A. Belton 


This paper implements a novel experimental design to investigate the presence of order effects across multiple valuation tasks for consumer goods, whereby earlier goods are valued more highly than later goods. The paper presents a novel explanation of order effects, relating to attention and novelty. Typically, multiple valuation tasks for consumer goods use the same good for valuation in each task. In this experiment the type of good valued in each task is varied, allowing two potential mechanisms to be disentangled: experimental novelty effects, whereby participants become less interested with completing later tasks, and good-specific novelty effects, whereby participants become less interested with the goods used in later tasks. The results find a particular importance of the first task; goods in the first task are valued significantly higher than later valued goods, evidence of experimental novelty effects, and goods of a similar type to the good in the first task are valued significantly higher than goods of a different type to the first, evidence of good-specific novelty. The paper discusses the potential implications of these findings.

Read the working paper here

Contact Contact

For enquiries regarding the Centre, please contact the Director:

Dr Anders Poulsen
Director, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science
School of Economics
University of East Anglia
Norwich Research Park
Norwich NR4 7TJ
United Kingdom

Email: A.Poulsen@uea.ac.uk
Phone: +44 (0) 1603 591066


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