The CBSL is an interdisciplinary research laboratory recently established at the Department of Information Science of the Geneva School of Business Administration at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland. The lab focuses on exploiting new and emerging digital data sources, combined with an experimental approach to derive insights into the emotional processes underlying human behavior.

Why computational behavioral science?

Understanding human behavior is a significant challenge and a crucial step in solving many of the world’s most complex problems. Our uses of digital technologies like social media platforms, emails, cell phones, or internet searches leave massive amounts of behavioral traces. However, Big Data is not about the data. Data is now easy and cheap to obtain, but the analytics that turns these digital behavioral data into actionable insights are complex and become more sophisticated every day.

Modeling digital behavioral data with new computational methods contribute to a better understanding of affective processes responsible for many aspects of human behaviors. For instance, we model interpersonal influences and diffusion of information, including affective states, in social networks. In addition, we apply text mining and natural language processing techniques of text and voice data to model personal preferences, emotions, and behavioral contents. We also work on detecting misinformation and misbehavior in social networks using deep learning methods and model spatiotemporal patterns with multi-dimensional data. Although these new methods provide crucial information on human behaviors, in the computational behavioral science lab, we work at the intersection between computational and behavioral science, associating computational methods with an experimental approach to translate knowledge into tangible actions and change human behaviors for the best.