Mind & Behaviour Research Group

The Mind and Behaviour Research Group brings together economists, psychiatrists, and psychologists based at the University of Oxford as part of the Centre for the Study of African Economies. Our aim is to investigate the psychological impact of living in poverty and use findings to improve policy programmes.

What we do

Build body of evidence

Conduct rigorous research on how psychology shapes economic decision-making. 

Share research methods 

Provide access to psychological measures and instruments to aid future research.

Talk to policymakers

Spark new policy conversations on using behaviour science in anti-poverty programmes.

Our research in the news

All news
Applying Wise Interventions around the World

Dr Greg Walton and Dr Kate Orkin discuss 'wise interventions', and how social science can use this psychologically approach to understand the major problems in social life - poverty, social exclusion, child abuse, and discrimination.

MBRG Measurement series featured by World Bank blog

In his weekly links for the Development Impact blog, David McKenzie features an MBRG measurement matters series post from Lukas Hensel on measuring income expectations using phone surveys.

Guide to Psychometric Validation of Scales

Marta Grabowska features in the World Bank's Weekly Links blog with her Measures Matter post on psychometric validation for non-cognitive skills.

Advising partnership with the South African government to reduce poverty and unemployment

Using evidence-based recommendations from our, and the work of other researchers globally, our team worked with the Project Management Office in the South African Presidency to identify immediate ways to reduce the effects of poverty through cash grants paid via mobile phone. This work earned recognition through the University of Oxford’s Vice-Chancellor’s Innovation & Engagement Awards.

For more information and to read our series of policy working papers on the design of policies to reduce poverty and unemployment, please click below.