The Behavioral Economics Lab focuses on choice and decision-making in rats, pigeons, and people, with a particular interest in models of self-control, impulsivity, choice and decision-making, and basic learning processes.


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Leonard Green

Professor of Psychology

Leonard Green received his undergraduate degree from the City College of New York (CCNY) and his PhD from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.  After completing post-doctoral research, Green ventured west of the Mississippi (although he thought he was still east of the river) where he is now Professor of Psychology at Washington University in St. Louis. He also serves as Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Psychology Department.

Dr. Green is one of the developers of ‘behavioral economics,’ a transdisciplinary field that combines the experimental methodology of psychology with the theoretical constructs of economics.  He has published over 150 articles and book chapters, is co-author of the book Economic Choice Theory: An Experimental Analysis of Animal Behavior (Cambridge University Press), and editor of Advances in Behavioral Economics, the third volume of which is subtitled Substance Use and Abuse.  He has been Editor of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, Associate Editor of the Pavlovian Journal of Biological Science, and is Consulting Editor for Behavior and Philosophy.  Green’s research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, and the McDonnell Center for Higher Brain Function.  He serves on the Executive Board of the Society for the Quantitative Analysis of Behavior (SQAB), and was recently elected a Fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) and the Association for Psychological Science (APS).  He is President of the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.  Len also served for many years on the Board of MO-FEAT, Missouri Families for Effective Autism Treatment.

Awards and Honors:

  • Council of Students of Arts and Sciences Award
  • Distinguished Faculty Award from Washington University
  • Special Recognition for Excellence in Mentoring from the Graduate Student Senate
  • ArtSci Council Faculty Award

Current Courses:

  • Psychology of Learning
    • The experimental analysis of behavior is presented with examination of Operant and Pavlovian conditioning, punishment, theories of reinforcement, choice behavior, behavioral economics, etc. Theoretical and experimental approaches to the study of behavior as developed in the laboratory are emphasized. Consideration is given to applications from the laboratory to everyday behavior. Students interested in a companion laboratory should consider concurrent enrollment in Psy 361A.

  • Psychology of Learning: Lab (361A)
    • This laboratory course is a supplement to The Psychology of Learning (Psy 361) class. Students will gain first-hand experience, via a virtual rat, of principles and procedures related to the acquisition and maintenance of behavior. Weekly lab meetings introduce Pavlovian and Operant principles that are then implemented as laboratory exercises with the virtual rat.

  • Practicum in Applied Behavior Analysis (235)
    • An opportunity to be trained in applied behavior analytic techniques and to work with a child with autism/pervasive developmental disorder. Training and supervision will be arranged and coordinated by the family of the child and their consultant. To receive credit, students must undertake a year´s work with the child, complete the minimum number of hours of training and therapy, and attend regular therapy meetings. In addition, students must attend all seminar meetings for discussion of assigned readings and presentations on autism and therapy. Completion of a paper also is required. For details, see the brochure "Practicum in Applied Behavior Analysis: Autism/PDD".

  • Intro to Psychology (100B)
    • Survey and analysis of concepts, research, and theory covering the areas of learning, memory, motivation, personality, social, abnormal, clinical, and biological psychology. Introduces the diversity of questions, areas, approaches, research, and theories that compose the study of mind and behavior.

Past Courses (selected):

  • Advanced Analysis of Behavior (566)
  • Conceptual Issues in Psychology (4051)
  • Decision and Choice (473)