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Tomas Folke

Research interests

Evidence-based policy, behavioural insights, policy evaluation, mental health, well-being, behavioural economics, statistics, machine learning.


GCRF Research for Health in Conflict (R4HC-MENA)

Personal background

Dr Tomas Folke joined the CBR in 2018 after finishing his PhD in Psychology from the University of Cambridge. His PhD topic was the role of confidence in perceptual and value-based decision-making. During this time he was the team leader for the Neuroscience and Cognition branch of the Policy Research Group’s Junior Researcher Programme and taught Bayesian statistics as a Teaching Assistant at the Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis. Prior to his PhD he completed an MPhil in Social and Developmental Psychology (Distinction) at the University of Cambridge and a BSc in Psychology at the University of York.

His current research focuses on applying behavioural science to solve real-world problems, with a special emphasis on humanitarian aid and global development. The main project he is working on revolves around the implementation and evaluation of mental health care reform in Lebanon. Outside of his academic work Tomas is providing statistical support to Ground Truth Solutions, an NGO that brings the voices of affected people to decision-makers in the humanitarian space, by using a mixture of survey methods and focus group discussions. Tomas is also interested in quantitative methods in the behavioural sciences, specifically the relationship between research design and analysis methods, the application and misapplication of statistical modelling, and the potential of big data and machine learning to provide novel behavioural insights.

Selected publications

Ruggeri, K., Folke, T., Jarke, H., Paul, A., F., Gladstone, J. (2018). Economic, financial and consumer decision-making. In K. Ruggeri (Ed.), Behavioural insights for policy: Concepts and cases: (pp. 156-179). Routledge.

Ruggeri, K., Ojinaga-Alfageme, O., Benzarga, A., Berkessel, J., Hlavová, R., Kunz, M., Pohl, N., Sundström, F., Folke, T. (2018). Evidence-based policy. In K. Ruggeri (Ed.), Behavioural insights for policy: Concepts and cases: (pp. 39-80). Routledge.

Folke, T., Jacobsen, C., Fleming, S. M., & De Martino, B. (2017). Explicit representation of confidence informs future value-based decisions. Nature Human Behaviour, 1(1), 0002.

Folke, T., Ouzia, J., Bright, P., De Martino, B., & Filippi, R. (2016). A bilingual disadvantage in metacognitive processing. Cognition, 150, 119-132.

Contact details

Department of Public Health and Policy
Columbia University
Mailman School of Public Health
722 W 168th St, New York
NY, 10032

Telephone +1 (646) 988 6819