Decision Making

When something old …

Schulte-Mecklenbeck, M., & Kühberger, A. (2014). Out of sight – out of mind? Information acquisition patterns in risky choice framing. Polish Psychological Bulletin, 45, 21–28. I teamed up with Anton Kühberger to write about one of our old, favorite topics: framing and process tracing … Here is the abstract: We investigate whether risky choice framing, i.e., the preference of a sure over an equivalent risky option when choosing among gains, and the reverse when choosing among losses, depends on redundancy and density of information available in a task.

New paper on food choice and simple heuristics

We got a new paper out on how people (consumers) use simple rules to make food choices. This is work in collaboration with the Nestlé Research Center in Lausanne. Here is the reference: Schulte-Mecklenbeck, M., Sohn, M., Bellis, E., Martin, N., & Hertwig, R. (2013). A Lack of Appetite for Information and Computation: Simple Heuristics in Food Choice. Appetite, 71, 242–251. Abstract The predominant, but largely untested, assumption in research on food choice is that people obey the classic commandments of rational behavior: they carefully look up every piece of relevant information, weight each piece according to subjective importance, and then combine them into a judgment or choice.

On writing in social science

Malcom Gladwell (author of Blink and Tipping point) meets Dan Ariely (author of Predictively Irrational and Ig Nobel Prize Winner) to chat on what are good strategies in selecting topics to write about and the difficulties of wading through complex information … Its called a research chat

how decisions deplete and breaks help

The New York Times published a nice overview of the work on decision making and ego depletion (often ego depletion is used as a synonym with resource depletion, which is somewhat confusing because of the use of the later in economy to described the situation when raw materials are exhausted in a region). A new paper from Jonathan Levav (now at Standford – congrats!) is prominently featured in the above article.


Here is what Andrew Gelman writes about an interview Colin Camerer gave on Spousomonics … Looking forward to Camerer’s reply …

How WEIRD subjects can be overcome … a comment on Henrich et al.

Joe Henrich published a target article in BBS talking about how economics and psychology base their research on WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic) subjects. Here is the whole abstract: — Behavioral scientists routinely publish broad claims about human psychology and behavior in the world’s top journals based on samples drawn entirely from Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic (WEIRD) societies. Researchers—often implicitly—assume that either there is little variation across human populations, or that these “standard subjects” are as representative of the species as any other population.

Priority Heuristic comment

We (Johnson, Schulte-Mecklenbeck, & Willemsen, 2008) have got a new paper out that comments on the Priority Heuristic as described in Brandstaetter, Gigerenzer and Hertwig, 2006. Resolution of debates in cognition usually comes from the introduction of constraints in the form of new data about either the process or representation. Decision research, in contrast, has relied predominantly on testing models by examining their fit to choices. The authors examine a recently proposed choice strategy, the priority heuristic, which provides a novel account of how people make risky choices.