The AMBI platform uses the equipment and resources of the Viipuri Laboratory at the School of Business and Management to study managerial and client-side behavior in the context of decision-making under uncertainty, specifically within the umbrella of investment decision-making.
The Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory at the University of Trento (ITA) has over 25 years of experience in the field led by Prof. Luigi Mittone. Professor Mittone will oversee the development of the Viipuri Lab and act as a visiting professor at LUT within the context of the platform. The platform will support the initiative by way of providing analytics support for the laboratory and a laboratory engineer who will facilitate the experiments and design the software used. AMBI utilizes the computation server capacity provided by the LENS group focusing on applied mathematics and in connection with the additive manufacturing technologies the existing (3D-printer) infrastructure that already supports the research in additive manufacturing and welding of metal structures (AM devices, software environment, and monitoring devices).The research follows the best tradition in the field. The research group will seek further external funding to collaborate with other European laboratories.
An important research field that can be developed is behavioral finance. In the last decades, economists and psychologists have recognized that human beings are not rational actors and that markets are often not efficient. Economists and psychologists have acknowledged in recent decades that humans are not rational actors and that markets are frequently inefficient. A growing body of research shows that behavioral biases substantially influence market predictions and can drastically alter investment decisions.
Together with the University of Trento, Viipuri Lab researchers have established a line of research attempting to study the real-world behavior of decision-makers in the context of real options, adopting laboratory experiments. Indeed, the conventional real options models, which are used to analyze investment decisions under uncertainty, assume that individuals are perfectly rational when making judgments. In contrast, several behavioral studies have shown that such assumptions are violated That is, they are time-consistent, monetary payoff-maximizing agents, and selfish (i.e., they only care about their payoffs). Several behavioral investigations, on the other hand, have revealed that such assumptions are violated.
Thus, it is highly important extending theoretically (and experimentally) the classical real option framework to account for a more realistic decision-making behavior. For instance, in their work “Risky choices in strategic environments: An experimental investigation of a real options game”, Morreale et colleagues show the advantages to adopt a behavioral approach by experimentally testing a theoretical model under both fundamental uncertainty and human-related (strategic) uncertainty by designing a sequential interaction game between two players. Analyzing the “conventional” leader-follower game in the ROG (real options game) literature from the perspective of behavioral economics improves our knowledge of how individuals make decisions in unpredictable and competitive contexts. The authors discovered that in the absence of strategic uncertainty, theory-based expectations are realized to a greater extent due to an observed “disutility of loss-of-control” bias. Given these findings, the theoretical model must be reconsidered. The usual model of monetary payoff-maximizing agents should be replaced with one of decision makers who maximize a utility function that includes the psychological cost produced by strategic uncertainty.
Head Viipuri Lab
Azzurra Morreale acts as an associate professor at LUT University, School of Business and Management, where she is also Head of Viipuri Lab since February 2021. She has been awarded the Title of Docent (Strategic financing, Economic behavior and Decision-making) in the same School for the period September 2021 – 31 August 2026.
She received her Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Management from University of Palermo (Italy). She is also a member of CEEL (Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory), Department of Economics, Management University of Trento (Italy). She has been a visiting scholar at the University of California Santa Cruz (USA), and she is a regular visiting scholar at University of Trento (Italy).
She is particularly specialized in behavioral experimental and quantitative methods, and she has applied such methods to several financial and economics contexts (e.g., real options testing, crowdfunding, organizational exploration-exploitation dilemma, tax compliance, among others).
Morreale, A., Mittone, L., Lo Nigro, G., (2019). Risky choices in strategic environments: an experimental investigation of a real option game European Journal of Operational Research, doi.org/10.1016/j.ejor.2019.05.013
Morreale, A., Mittone, L., Vu, T. T. T., & Collan, M. (2020). To Wait or Not to Wait? Use of the Flexibility to Postpone Investment Decisions in Theory and in Practice. Sustainability, 12(8), 3451
Mittone, L., Morreale, A., & Vu, T. T. T., (2022). What drives innovative behavior?-An experimental analysis on risk attitudes, creativity and performance. Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, 98, 101868.