CRED is an interdisciplinary center that studies individual and group decision making under climate uncertainty and decision making in the face of environmental risk. CRED’s objectives address the human responses to climate change and climate variability as well as improved communication and increased use of scientific information on climate variability and change. In addition to advancing fundamental theory in psychology, behavioral economics, and other social science disciplines, CRED researchers work on integrated field projects around the world, where decision science is brought to bear on sustainable development challenges in such settings as agricultural decisions and water management. Located at Columbia University, CRED is affiliated with The Earth Institute and partners with various departments and centers across campus. For more information about our partners, see our Partners page.
CRED was established as one of four centers under the National Science Foundation Program Decision Making Under Uncertainty (DMUU). Major funding is provided under the cooperative agreement NSF SES-0345840 and NSF SES-0951516.
CRED’s mission is to comprehend and confront the gap between society’s recognition of environmental problems such as natural hazards and unsustainable consumption and society’s frequent failure to act on the scientific insights, economic analyses, and technological solutions that address these problems. CRED focuses on recent findings in decision science that help explain this gap–the finite nature of human attention, the complex interactions of cognition and emotion in shaping human action, the challenges which uncertainty places on human perception and action, and the profoundly social character of human action. CRED seeks to remedy this gap through two major streams of activity. It conducts research in settings such as laboratories and field sites in the US and around the globe, and it carries out a number of forms of outreach, including education, communication guides, advising to local, national and international organizations, and the development of decision support tools which facilitate use of scientific information about the environment and which promote better group decisions. The flow between the research and the outreach goes in both directions: the research informs the outreach and the outreach provides research opportunities to test hypotheses. Taken together, these two streams of activity advance science and advance society’s capacity to address major environmental challenges.