The research we do in the Social Behaviour and Ethics Lab focuses on humans in their social collective. When and how do humans cooperate with others? How does morality guide people’s behaviour?

I am interested in when and how humans cooperate with others. I investigate this big question from the two perspectives of group dynamics and prosociality: when do we our best to contribute to our group’s joint performance, for example by sharing our knowledge so we can make good joint decisions? And when do we act prosocially and help others instead of prioritising ourselves, for example by sharing money? Beyond the psychological processes involved, I also look at how “everyday” physiological factors (e.g. stress, sleep deprivation, hunger) influence group dynamics and prosociality.

Further, I am interested in morality. I work both on basic research questions and concrete ethical application cases. Basic research involves the question which fundamental moral values guide our behaviour towards others. From the perspective of concrete cases that pose a challenge to ethics, I am interested in cognitive enhancement (“brain doping”) and how humans morally value non-human animals (speciesism).

The SoBE Lab’s work is interdisciplinary, using mainly theory and methods from experimental social psychology and from philosophy (ethics). It has been funded, for example, by the German National Academic Foundation, the Volkswagen Foundation, the Oxford Martin School, and the Wellcome Trust.

Ongoing projects

Please contact me if you are interested in any of our current projects (manuscripts under review/in preparation):

  • Caviola, L., Everett, J. A. C., Kahane, G., Savulescu, J., & Faber, N. S. Nature Bias: When something is good just because it is natural
  • Caviola, L., Schubert, S., Kahane, G., & Faber, N. S. Humans First: A framework for moral anthropocentrism
  • Devolder, K., Caviola, L., Yip, L., Savulescu, J., & Faber, N. S. Public views on the moral status of human-animal chimeras
  • Faber, N. S., Gross, J., & De Dreu, C. K. W. Moral choice in context
  • Halfmann, E., Hüffmeier, J., Faber, N. S., & Häusser, J. A. How sleep deprivation affects negotiation processes and outcomes
  • McGuire, L., Palmer, S. B., & Faber, N. S. Loving some animals, eating others: Species categorisation in childhood, young adulthood and adulthood
  • Miller, D., Faber, N. S., Kappes, A., & Nussberger, A-M. Fighting vaccination hesitancy: Strategies for improving risk perception and the exercise of responsible agency
  • Nussberger, A.-M., Everett, J. A. C., Crockett, M. J., & Faber, N. S. Probability and magnitude evaluations in social versus individual decision-making under uncertainty
  • Salmen, A., Dhont, K., & Faber, N. S. Gender role beliefs and bias towards vegetarian men
  • Sattler, S., Häusser, J. A., & Faber, N. S. Psychophysiological impairment and enhancement in the context of group performance
  • Van Lange, P. A. M., Peperkoorn, S., Wu, J., Rand, D., Savulescu, J., & Faber, N. S. Population density trumps religiosity in predicting charitable donations and norm violations in communities
  • Wittmann, M. K., Lockwood, P. L., Abdurahman, A., Hamilton, S., Faber, N. S., & Rushworth, M. F. S. A limited set of basis functions guide complex social decisions in dorsomedial frontal cortex
  • Xie, E., Zohny, H., Douglas, T., Efron, D., Faber, N. S. & Savulescu, J. What makes a person morally good? How ethical theories match people’s intuitions