Dilip Soman

Canada Research Chair in Behavioural Science and Economics

Tier 1 - 2017-11-01
University of Toronto
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council


Research involves

Combining qualitative and quantitative methods to better understand, test and document how individuals make decisions.

Research relevance

This research will help organizations embed evidence-based behavioural insights into their products, policies and programs and help people make decisions that will lead to better, healthier lives.

Understanding, Testing and Documenting How We Make Decisions

From public health policy to consumer spending, organizations are always trying to get people to make different—and often faster—choices. But Dr. Dilip Soman, Canada Research Chair in Behavioural Science and Economics, believes few organizations achieve these goals because they often make false assumptions about human behaviour. Soman argues they must assume end users may be distracted, impulsive, unmotivated, forgetful or simply lazy—in other words, human.

Despite large amounts of research in behavioural economics and decision-making, much work needs to be done before we can make use of this knowledge and support actual behavioural change. Soman and his research team are working to fill this gap. They’re developing a new, comprehensive framework that organizations can use to solve complex behavioural challenges, with a focus on improving business and public policy.

This framework will encompass the complex, interrelated and dynamic aspects of human behaviour and how it can be changed in organizations and social settings. More specifically, Soman and his team are testing and documenting the most effective, behaviourally informed approaches that coax us toward good decisions—from the best timing for interventions to the right technologies and user interfaces.

Soman’s research will inform organizations on how to embed evidence-based behavioural insights into their products, policies and programs. It will also help people make better decisions to lead better, healthier lives.