Simon T. van Baal

PhD Candidate


I am currently studying manifestations of self-control and impulsivity. My project aims to identify ways to help individuals and groups improve their decision-making by controlling, or not controlling, their impulses in intertemporal, addictive, and prosocial choice contexts.

I started my PhD in 2019 at Monash University, funded by the Monash Warwick Alliance. I am passionate about creating research output that could help people in the general public, and making my research as open and transparent as I can.

My supervisors are Jakob Hohwy, Lukasz Walasek, and Antonio Verdejo-Garcia.

Before I came to Australia, I completed a Bachelor of Economics and Business Economics at Erasmus University Rotterdam, and a Master of Behavioural and Economic Science at the University of Warwick.

I am a member of Cognition and Philosophy Lab at Monash, headed by Professor Jakob Hohwy. The lab's produces exciting research, which ranges from consciousness research to behavioural science.

Highlighted research output

The Self-Isolation Game

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

Find it here.

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

Cory COVID-Bot

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.

You can find this paper in preprint here and print here.