Behavioral Science and Decision Making in Context

Funding Agency:
Russell Sage Foundation

The Russell Sage Foundation’s (RSF) core program on Behavioral Science and Decision Making in Context merges its long-standing program on Behavioral Economics and its special initiative on Decision Making and Human Behavior in Context. This program encourages perspectives from multiple disciplines, including economics, psychology, political science, sociology, law, public policy, and other social sciences, to further our understanding of economic, social, political, and psychological decision-making processes, attitudes, behaviors, and institutional practices in public and private contexts such as policing/criminal legal systems, employment, housing, politics, racial/ethnic relations, and immigration.

The term “behavior” is used in multiple ways across disciplines. Behavioral observation has long been used for psychological research on human behavior. Experimental psychologists conduct field and/or laboratory experiments to learn more about why people take certain actions. Behavioral economists focus on the decision-making processes of individuals and institutions. In political science, the subfield of political behavior focuses on attitudes. Sociologists study how human behavior is shaped by the groups to which people belong and by the social interactions that occur within those groups. Social scientists across these areas are increasingly proposing interventions in ongoing policies and programs to test the effectiveness of their theories and models. The foundation seeks applications from all of these perspectives regarding how they affect individual, group, and institutional behaviors and social structures.  

Research in this area is expanding rapidly. RSF is open to a range of questions consistent with its mission to “improve social and living conditions in the United States” and the funding priorities of its other core programs on Social, Political and Economic InequalityRace, Ethnicity and Immigration, and Future of Work.

Deadlines for Letters of Inquiry: July 26, 2023; Nov. 7, 2023; April 16, 2024




Social Sciences

External Deadline

April 16, 2024