Behavioral Science Workshops
Invited guests, faculty, and students present current research in decision-making and judgment in our workshop series. The emphasis of our workshop series is on behavioral implications of decision and judgment models.
Fall 2020 Workshop Schedule
When: Every other Monday, 10:00–11:30 a.m.
Who: Workshops are open to CDR faculty, researchers, staff, and students, plus invited guests. Additional requests to attend the workshop are handled on a case-by-case basis. Please email email@example.com if you’d like to attend.
Where: Zoom - link will be emailed to attendees before the event.
Monday, October 5, 2020
Carnegie Mellon University
"Using and Allocating Scarce Resources"
Paper 1 | Paper 2
Abstract: Health and welfare are often dependent on the availability of scarce resources, such as transplant organs. Thus, decisions about whether to use and how to allocate such resources have important consequences. In one set of studies, the allocation of transplant organs is affected by the grouping of potential recipients. When transplant recipients are presented in two groups, allocation decisions become less efficient because the decision makers tend to spread the resources across the two groups. A second set of studies explores the use of scarce resources. Participants evaluate two transplant centers: one that selectively accepts only offers of high quality organs and another that unselectively accept all organ offers. Scenarios using a Simpson’s Paradox paradigm reveal that the relative evaluation of the two centers depends on how center performance is displayed. Both sets of studies reveal the role of psychological processes in scarce resource decisions.
Monday, October 19, 2020
"The Dynamics of Prosocial Choice"
Paper 1 | Paper 2
Abstract: How do humans make choices when there are competing pressures of fairness, harm, self-interest, and concern for others? Combining behavioral, computational and neuroimaging methods, our research explores the social, emotional and cognitive factors that shape and ultimately guide these complex prosocial choices and how we learn to make such decisions. We explore this space from multiple angles, first examining how individual differences systematically amplify or attenuate prosociality. We then examine how context and emotional engagement provides boundary conditions that can further strengthen the desire to be pro- or anti-social. Taken together, this work demonstrates that while moral behavior is flexibly deployed, there are key factors that can systematically bias our social choices.
Monday, November 2, 2020
University of Cologne
"The Redundancy in Cumulative Information and How It Biases Impressions"
Abstract: The present work identifies a so-far overlooked bias in sequential impression formation. When the latent qualities of competitors are inferred from a cumulative sequence of observations (e.g., the sum of points collected by sports teams), impressions should be based solely on the most recent observation because all previous observations are redundant. Based on the well-documented human inability to adequately discount redundant information, we predicted the existence of a cumulative redundancy bias. Accordingly, perceivers’ impressions are systematically biased by the unfolding of a performance sequence when observations are cumulative. This bias favors leading competitors and persists even when the end result of the performance sequence is known. We demonstrated this cumulative redundancy bias in 8 experiments in which participants had to sequentially form impressions about the qualities of two competitors from different performance domains (i.e., computer algorithms, stocks, and soccer teams). We consistently found that perceivers’ impressions were biased by cumulative redundancy. Specifically, impressions about the winner and the loser of a sequence were more divergent when the winner took an early lead compared with a late lead. When the sequence ended in a draw, participants formed more favorable impressions about the competitor who was ahead during most observations. We tested and ruled out several alternative explanations related to primacy effects, counterfactual thinking, and heuristic beliefs. We discuss the wide-ranging implications of our findings for impression formation and performance evaluation.
Monday, November 16, 2020
"Honour and Goal Pursuit: How Honour Can Interfere with One’s Own and Others’ Goal-Directed Behaviours"
Paper 1 | Paper 2
Abstract: Social image or reputation in one’s community has been shown to matter to a great extent in cultures that position honour as a core concern. In a series of studies, we examined the role of honour concerns in one’s own and other individuals’ goal-directed behaviour using a social and cultural psychological approach. In two studies we investigated retaliatory responses to actual honour threats among members of an honour culture (Turkey) and a dignity culture (northern US). Turkish participants were more likely than Northern American participants to respond to the honour threat by interfering with the goals of the source of the threat. Taking a goal conflict approach and turning to how honour concerns might interfere with one’s own goals, we examined goal delay and goal derailment after receiving an honour threat, a non-honour threat and neutral feedback among members of honour cultures (Turkey and southern US) and a dignity culture (northern US). Participants from honour cultures (but not the dignity culture) were more likely to think of delaying their subsequent goals after receiving an honour (vs. non-honour) threat. Moreover, Turkish participants were more likely to display goal derailment after receiving an honour (vs. a non-honour) threat; there was no difference in the U.S. North or South. This research is the first to examine honour taking a goals perspective. Time allowing, I will also share some of my current research designed to investigate the role of honour in various social interactional processes.
Monday, November 30, 2020
“A Question of Timing: Happy People Show Strong Associations between Current Affective States and Future Choices of Activities”
This speaker will briefly cover several papers: Paper 1 | Paper 2 | Paper 3 | Paper 4 | Paper 5
Abstract: How should you balance your time to be happier? We examined the links between people's daily activities and momentary happiness in four experience-sampling studies including over 58,000 people around the globe. We found that, on average, people are more likely to engage in happiness-increasing activities (e.g., play sports, see friends) when they feel bad, and to engage in useful but happiness-decreasing activities (e.g., housework, alone time) when they feel good. While this pattern emerges in the general population across countries and cultures―from the U.S. to Japan―our analyses reveal that it is profoundly impaired in people with chronically low levels of happiness and people with a history of depression. For instance, we found that while very happy people enjoy a similar number of leisure hours than their less happy counterparts, they are much more likely to engage in leisure activities when they feel unhappy (as a way to boost themselves up). In contrast, unhappy individuals seem to engage in leisure activities at random moments, failing to up-regulate their happiness when they need it most. These findings suggest that dynamic factors of time use such as when people decide to undertake a given activity may play a central role in their well-being.