Professor Profile : Nick Chater, Warwick Business School

Tell us about your Educational Qualification

I have a first-class honours degree in Natural Sciences (Psychology), from Trinity College, Cambridge; and a Ph.D. in Cognitive Science from the University of Edinburgh.

Your work experience prior to Warwick

Prior to arriving at Warwick Business School, I was Professor of Cognitive and Decision Sciences at University College London, and before that Professor of Psychology, also at Warwick. I was previously a lecturer in psychology at UCL, Edinburgh and Oxford University.

Your Experience at Warwick

Warwick Business School provides an extremely exciting intellectual environment, combined with close links with policy makers and business. We have been able to build one of the world’s most exciting Behavioural Science research groups.

What subjects are you currently teaching at Warwick?

I teach a Principles of Cognition course; and also a Massive Open On-Line Course “The Mind is Flat“.

Tell us about your existing research work

I am working on two interrelated themes: the first concerns shallowness of human psychology—i.e., how we “improvise” our beliefs, values, and actions moment-by-moment; and the second involves developing a new theory of social interaction, called “virtual bargaining.” These two themes are connected, because social interactions are themselves “improvised” by the participants in them.


1995 BPS Cognitive Psychology Award (with Mike Oaksford).

1996 Spearman Medal

British Psychology Society Annual prize for psychological research.

1997 4th Experimental Psychology Society Prize Experimental Psychology Society annual prize for psychological research.

2006-2009 Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship on the topic Fundamental Principles of Cognition.

2009 BPS Cognitive Psychology Award (with Gordon Brown and Ian Neath).

2010 Elected as Fellow of the Cognitive Science Society

2012 Elected as Fellow of the British Academy

Your Area of Interest

My main interest is rationality, both within individuals and in social interactions. I’m particularly interested in the aspect of human psychology that make organisations, culture and society possible. I also advise government and companies on applying behavioural insights.

What are your Future Plans at Warwick

I hope to extend the scope of my work to help understand how organisations and societies evolve.

Tips for the Indian Students

Academic excellence, an interest in the world of business and policy, combined with giving a strong sense of why Warwick is right for you.

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