Simon T. van Baal

Post-Doctoral Researcher in Behavioural Science


I am a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Vienna (chair: Robert Böhm) as well as an Honorary Fellow at the University of Warwick.

I am currently studying manifestations of self-control and impulsivity. My research aims to identify ways to help individuals and groups improve their decision-making in all domains of life, including time preferences, addiction, health, altruism, and relationships. Currently, much of my work revolves around using novel natural language processing methods to analyse decisions embedded in context. 

I obtained my doctorate from Monash University and the University of Warwick in 2023, funded by the Monash Warwick Alliance. I am passionate about creating research output that could help the general public. I endeavour to make my research as open and transparent as I can. I am a signatory of the Peer Review Openness Initiative. Read more about it here

Before my PhD, I completed a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Business Economics at Erasmus University Rotterdam, and a Masters of Science in Behavioural and Economic Science at the University of Warwick.

Highlighted Research Output

Impulsivity and Self-Control as Timeless Concepts

In this article, we argue that impulsivity and self-control are not straightforwardly implicated in intertemporal choice tasks. We pose questions such as "Can you use your self-control to do things that are only advantageous in the present?", and "Can you be future-oriented and impulsive simultaneously?". You can find the preprint here.

The Self-Isolation Game 

Together with my supervisors Lukasz Walasek and Jakob Hohwy, I developed a game that investigates the influence of social norms on decisions of self-isolation during the pandemic. Find the article here.

Covid Awareness - Exponential Growth.mp4
Covid Awareness - Empathy.mp4

Changing Pandemic Behaviour with a Chatbot

In a multi-industry collaboration between Monash Health, Monash Centre for Consciousness and Contemplative Studies, Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, Torus Games, and inGenious AI, we developed a chatbot with behavioural interventions designed to improve decision making during the pandemic. Find it here.

Risk perception and communication during the pandemic

We studied whether we could alter people's attitudes towards leaving the house during lockdown through simple communication prompts. Find it here