The Behavioral Science in the Field Course is a collaboration between MIT GOV/LAB and the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics, to train graduate students from the U.S. and local universities in East Africa in cutting-edge behavioral science research. Conducted in Kenya, the course is structured as an intensive deep dive into interdisciplinary behavioral science and provides students the opportunity to develop novel behavioral science games to answer research that will result in data collection.

The course will provide students with practical experience in implementing a lab in the field experiment. To encourage innovative thinking beyond disciplinary boundaries, the course will be open to PhD students in the social sciences more broadly (e.g. political science, economics, business, psychology). The Behavioral Science in the Field course was piloted in January 2020 and data collection was delayed until May 2022 due to the pandemic. Research results forthcoming.

The blog book includes blogs by several affiliate students:

  • George Kinyanjui (University of Capetown): ‘Is social giving irrational ?’
  • Kim Fre Cramer (Columbia University): ‘Learning from sophisticated decision-makers who live on a tight budget’
  • Peter Babyenda (University of Nairobi): ‘How information on climate variability influences farming decisions’
  • John Shilinde (University of Dar es Salaam): ‘Can language and geographical similarities promote social interaction in exchange of agricultural commodities ?’
  • Marius Vollberg (Harvard University): ‘Can free choice be the enemy of optimal choice ?’
  • Isabel Macdonald (Harvard University): ‘How mobile money users choose agents and why it matters’
  • Laura Barasa (University of Nairobi): ‘Hitting the Jackpot: how to curb youth gambling’
  • Richard Sebaggala (Uganda Christian University): ‘The potential of emotions in the fight against corruption in developing countries’
  • Stuart Russell and Nicole Wilson (Massachusetts Institute of Technology): ‘Motivated Voters: Barriers to accountability in Kenya’
  • Lynda Nakawala (Makerere University in Uganda): ‘Can a single shot online message increase youth’s willingness to engage in critical thinking ?’
  • Aidan Milliff (Massachusetts Institute of Technology): ‘Realism within reason: how to study life or death decisions’

Header: Micheal Bagorogoza.