As a publicly sponsored and neutrally coordinated program, the KD²School opens up a research field that is at present primarily “investigated” with profit-oriented or political goals.

Economic decisions in business and in everyday life are increasingly supported by IT-based systems. As a result, these systems effectively operate as “cast in code” institutions and processes, and their design influences decision makers’ interactions and behaviors. The interplay between economic decision making and system design is at the core of the KD²School as it lays the foundations for the transformation of static systems into dynamic, adaptive systems.

Generally speaking, all decision-making is inherently embedded in a dynamically changing context comprising of personal (e.g., stress), task-related (e.g., complexity), and environmental factors (e.g., incentives). The key challenge then is to utilize this data and design economic institutions and their IT realizations to dynamically adapt to the context of a decision situation with the goal of improving decisions and/or reducing effort without loss of decision quality.


With its main focus on the design of adaptive, IT-based systems for supporting economic decision-making in dynamically changing contexts the research program of KD²School covers six areas at the intersection of humans, IT-technology, and economic institutions.

1. Fundamentals of Cognitive Systems & Neurosciences

2. Individuals' Decisions in Everyday Activities

3. Team Decisions in Work Environments

4. Group Decisions in Online Participation

5. Boundaries of Adaptation & Addiction Potentials

6. Linked Laboratory Infrastructures


Four laboratories provide a strong foundation for highly innovative experimental research.

KD²Lab (Karlsruhe)

Over 40 booths for large-scale economic and psycho-physiological experiments

CSLab (Bremen)

High-resolution sensors and even a camera-fitted room for motion tracking studies

fMRI Lab (Bremen)

Cutting-edge neuroimaging methqods including a 3-Tesla fMRI scanner

DecIS Lab (Stuttgart)

Virtual reality and eye-tracking methodology at its best