Influencing better decision-making

In a world where the frequency of global crises is increasing, the context for scientific solutions to understand human behaviour is rapidly changing. Behavioural science looks at human actions across multiple fields of study including the latest research in cutting-edge psychology. It focuses on how emotions, the environment, and social factors influence human decisions and how biases and framing can lead us to make certain decisions. 

Behavioural scientists are particularly interested in how people perceive, communicate, and respond to the world around them. They use their understanding of human behaviour to design environments that help people make better decisions. Using insights drawn from fundamental research, behavioural science can help improve lives and promote healthy, resilient adjustments to an increasing range of pressing social problems including climate change, health pandemics and cybersecurity threats.

Associated schools, institutes & centres


In a world characterised by rapid and far-reaching technological change, we use innovative research frameworks to improve the understanding of the complexities of human behaviour. A significant portion of human cognition happens without conscious awareness through the mediation of technology. New technologies influence humans in complex ways and are generating behaviours that challenge the fundamental aspects of what it means to be human. 

Insights from behavioural science have a significant role to play in understanding sociotechnical systems and the broader effects of disruptive technologies on Australian institutions. Our expertise in understanding the complex interplay between human behaviour and technological change is advancing knowledge in this area, with particular significance for the government and defence sectors. Our research will play an essential role in managing the impact of disruptive technologies in complex environments, from smart cities to future battlefields.

Competitive advantage 

We have research capabilities and unique expertise in interdisciplinary methodology, cutting-edge theory and case-study applications including:  

  • a uniquely holistic approach to the science of human behaviour, incorporating cross-disciplinary insights from cultural geography, sociology, philosophy and psychology. 
  • cutting-edge interfaces with new developments across an exciting range of empirical topics, including neuroscience, synthetic biology, advanced manufacturing, digital cultures, cyber studies and the performing arts. 
  • access to collaborative opportunities with UNSW research centres, including the Defence Research Institute and UNSW Cyber.

Successful applications

  • Team Performance, Habit Training, and Enhanced Technological Embodiment 
  • Rethinking the Human in C21st Socio-Technical Innovation. 
  • Re-thinking human-technology relations in the age of Industry 4.0.

Study with us

We offer postgraduate course in:

We promote and encourage:

  • interdisciplinary teaching, drawing on cutting-edge qualitative social science to reframe the question of the socio-technical for the 21st century.
  • research-led teaching, thinking through innovative conceptual ideas about contemporary empirical examples in art, technology, and science.
  • distance learning—and we are structured to deliver courses in this fashion.


Our researchers

Lecturer in Human Geography Tom Roberts
Lecturer in Human Geography
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