About the Behavioural Research Unit

Photo of researchers on the BRU team

Hannah Julienne, Cameron Belton, Deirdre Robertson, Shane Timmons, Pete Lunn,  Laura Gormley, Ciarán Lavin and Martina Barjaková are researchers in the Behavioural Research Unit. 

Who we are and what we do?

The Behavioural Research Unit (BRU) is a multidisciplinary team of behavioural scientists that specialises in applying behavioural science to policy. We are a mixture of behavioural economists and psychologists. (The distinction between behavioral economics and economic psychology is discussed in this paper).

We work mostly in Ireland, but also internationally with the OECD and the European Commission. Most of our work employs experiments, conducted in the laboratory, online or in the field. We believe that more experiments should be undertaken for policy (read why in this paper), including experimental pre-tests (paper).

The BRU has built up a body of research in consumer decision making, with a focus on major financial products, household services, food and environmental choices. Recent topics include calorie posting (paper), use of loan calculators (paper), electricity pricing (paper), pensions (paper), car finance (paper), smart meters (paper) and personal loans (paper).

The BRU recently undertook a large review of existing evidence on consumers’ difficulties with certain features of financial products (review).