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Centre for the Study of Decision-Making Uncertainty
The UCL Centre for the Study of Decision-Making Uncertainty (CSDU) is hosted in the Faculty of Brain Sciences. It is part of the UCL Grand Challenges initiative to use UCL's vast range of experts to address the world's key problems. We bring together cross-disciplinary teams from among UCL’s world class academic staff in all faculties. They undertake fundamental research and teaching focused on human responses to uncertainty – which we see as at the core of many of the complex intellectual and policy challenges which have become widely apparent since the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-9. Together we aim to develop new theories of decision-making starting from the position that although economic actors are regularly required to make long-term commitments to action they can only guess the long-term consequences of their actions in advance. It is the world’s first academic centre to focus across many relevant disciplines on why and how individuals and groups act the way they do when faced with immeasurable uncertainty and seeks to work closely with practitioners in finance, financial regulation, business and government. The Centre is the latest development in UCL’s outstanding tradition of challenging conventional thinking and generating research that is relevant to the changing needs of society. It draws on international expertise in economics, psychology, psychoanalysis, brain sciences, anthropology, computer science, language sciences, political science, and statistics. Although modern science is increasingly cross disciplinary, problem focused, data driven and team based economic questions have not often been explored in that way. By treating economic outcomes as the product of complex emergent processes set in motion by interacting and sentient human beings operating in institutional environments we aim to improve understanding. A desirable result will be a new type of human science, one able to account for the mechanisms and impacts of human decision-making in a complex world.
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