Research & Working Papers

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. From an applied perspective, the SoBE Lab tries to put our findings on cooperation into use for the prevention of infectious disease.

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 (primarily 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.

Working Papers

Please contact me if you are interested in any of our current papers under review/in preparation:

  • Capraro, V., Ortiz, J. M., Nussberger, A.-M., & Faber, N. S. Reading a single snippet of polarized news impacts people’s views on immigration
  • 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. Why people prioritize humans over animals: A framework for moral anthropocentrism
  • Faber, N. S., Leder, J., Mojzisch, A., & Häusser, J. A. Caffeine and advice taking: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study
  • Halfmann, E., Hüffmeier, J., Faber, N. S., & Häusser, J. A. Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Integrative Negotiation Outcomes: A Mixed-Method Investigation
  • McGuire, L., Palmer, S. B., & Faber, N. S. Loving some animals, eating others: Species categorisation in childhood, young adulthood and adulthood
  • 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
  • Stintzing, J., Bovy, L., Pömmerl, J., Marisch, C., Stremmel, F., Konrad, B., Genzel, L., Faber, N. S., Häusser, J. A., Steiger, A., Dresler, M. Sleep and repeated retrieval enhance memory on different time scales
  • 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
  • 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