Elke Weber is the Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor in Energy and the Environment and Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs at Princeton University. Her research models decision-making under uncertainty and time delay in financial and environmental contexts from a psychological and neuroscience perspective. Her expertise in the behavioral decision sciences has been sought out by advisory committees of the National Academy of Sciences on Human Dimensions in Global Change, an American Psychological Association Task Force that issued a report on the Interface between Psychology and Global Climate Change, and Working Group III for the 5th and 6th Assessment Report of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). She is past president of the Society for Neuroeconomics, the Society for Judgment and Decision Making, and the Society for Mathematical Psychology. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, the Society for Risk Analysis, the Society for Experimental Psychology. She received the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the Society for Risk Analysis and was elected to the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and the US National Academy of Sciences.

Research Interests

Weber's Behavioral Science for Policy Lab (BSPL) connects psychological theory to social problems in a two-way dialogue, proving the value of such theory by providing constructive solutions in real-world settings and theory being, in turn, enriched and constrained by those settings. Much of the research draws distinctions between homo economicus and homo sapiens, acknowledging that people's responses to existing or proposed technologies or energy and environmental policies are not entirely rational. Ongoing research explores the full range of human goals and human processes that shape our perceptions and responses to environmental and economic risks, with the objective of designing choice environments that facilitate wiser or more rational responses. Theory draws from cognitive and social psychology, behavioral economics, and related social sciences, and methods include lab and field experiments that collect process data, behavioral outcomes, associated brain activation, and more. Because decisions that impact the sustainability of our energy and economic systems and the quality of our natural environment are made within a social and physical context, recent research has focused on the role and effects of social identity, social networks, and social norms, examining norm clusters and the dynamics of shifts in social norms, and their ability to accelerate change and create tipping points in behavior.

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Primary Section

Section 52: Psychological and Cognitive Sciences

Secondary Section

Section 64: Human Environmental Sciences