Michel Handgraaf is an Associate Professor at Wageningen University at the chairgroup Urban Economics. He received his Master’s degree in Psychology from the University of Amsterdam and his Ph.D in Social Psychology from Leiden University. His dissertation dealt with the role of fairness in negotiation. Since then he has moved more towards the fields of Behavioral Economics and Decision Making. In 2006 he visited Columbia University’s Center for Research on Environmental Decisions (CRED), where he is a Principal Investigator. He is also a board member of the European Association for Decision Making (EADM).
Handgraaf currently leads the Amsterdam-based Living Lab on energy behavior at the Student Hotel, in close collaboration with Bectro Installatietechniek and an EIT/Climate KIC PhD student (Anouk Griffioen). The project is called: Saving energy when others pay the bill: A field experimental approach to behavioral aspects of energy conservation in student housing and hotel settings. This project has also been financed by the Dutch Topsector Energy and investigates how people can be stimulated to save energy when financial incentives are absent.
Most of Handgraaf’s research uses (field) experimental methods and surveys, can be described as ‘behavioral economics’ (or ‘economic psychology’), and mainly deals with differences between what rational economic theories would predict and the psychology behind deviations from such predictions. Besides research on fairness and ethics, Handgraaf’s current research stream takes place in both lab and field and focuses on decisions in the environmental domain. These decisions typically feature uncertainty, temporal tradeoffs and social tradeoffs.