Photo of Daniel Västfjäll

Daniel Västfjäll

Deputy Head of Department, Professor

My main interest is in emotion and its effect on everyday behaviours. Another goal is to help people make better decisions. I am a professor in Cognitive Psychology since 2011 and have PhDs in acoustics (2003) and psychology (2002).

Decisions, emotion and experience

My research deals with one of the most fundamental questions in psychology - how emotions are elicited and how they affect us in our everyday lives. This is studied in four different main themes.

Prosocial helping/the decision to donate

There is a vast need for voluntary donations for both local and global causes. But what motivates us to help? We conduct research to examine the role of deliberate, emotional and moral drivers for helping behaviors.

Homo Heuristicus - how decisions are actually made

Decision making has been seen as a “rational” process where decision makers maximize utility. However, in most situations we make decision using simplified heuristics. We study when and why relying on emotional and habitual decision strategies may be beneficial in many situations.

Neuroeconomics - studies of how the brain and body make decisions

During the past 20 years, neuroeconomics has been established as an important research area. We study how people make decision with the help of brain imaging techniques.

Emotion, Music and Sound

What is it in a sound or a musical piece that can move us so deeply? We use experimental methods to study how music affect us in our everyday lives.


Selected publications

Cover of publication ''
Daniel Västfjäll, Slovic Paul, William Burns, Arvid Erlandsson, Lina Koppel, Erkin Asutay, Gustav Tinghög (2016)

Frontiers in Psychology , Vol.7 , s.325- Continue to DOI

Cover of publication ''
Daniel Västfjäll, Paul Slovic, Marcus Mayorga, Ellen Peters (2014)

PLOS ONE , Vol.9 , s.e0100115- Continue to DOI



Gustav Tinghög, Erkin Asutay, Kinga Barrafrem, Daniel Västfjäll (2024) The Effect of COVID-19 on Subjective Financial Well-Being Financial Counseling and Planning, p. JFCP-2022 Continue to DOI
Kinga Barrafrem, Daniel Västfjäll, Gustav Tinghög (2024) Financial Homo Ignorans: Development and validation of a scale to measure individual differences in financial information ignorance Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance, Vol. 42, p. 100936-100936, Article 100936 Continue to DOI
Hajdi Moche, Hulda Karlsson, Daniel Västfjäll (2024) Victim identifiability, number of victims, and unit asking in charitable giving PLOS ONE, Vol. 19, Article e0300863 Continue to DOI

Research groups