My research is broadly focused around three areas of interest: i) moral cognition; ii) memory and decision making; and, iii) social learning. I use multiple methodologies in my work including behavioral data, computational modelling, eye-tracking and physiology. My work emphasises the dynamic nature of social and cognitive processes.
How are moral decisions made and to what extent do they rely on domain-general cognitive processes such as visual attention and information sampling? In past work I have proposed that visual attention plays a causal role for moral decisions. One reason for this is likely that moral decisions rely on visually guided evidence accumulation processes (also here) similar to other value-based decisions.
In ongoing work I am currently investigating individual differences in the evidence accumulation process, comparing moral and non-moral decisions. Other work looks at how decisions about right and wrong are shaped by descriptive norms in interaction with visual attention and how decisions to cooperate in social dilemmas are affected by which social partners are attended to.
How do memories and beliefs about past decisions or the decision environment shape upcoming decisions? In past research I have approached this question from several angles. In one paper we showed that visual attention during decision making depends on what decision relevant information is present, and that visual attention dynamically shifts between supportinf recall of past information or integration of available information. Other work has utilized the choice blindness paradigm to give people false-feedback about their previous decisions. Doing so results in people forming false memories about their decisions. In later work we have shown that false beliefs about past choices induced throgh false-feedback, in this cases about one’s own political attitudes, have lasting effects on later choices.
Ongoing projects are investigating how false-feedback shapes group decisions as well as further probing how memories are shaped by beliefs about past choices. In a new line of research I am also probing the role of episodic memories for fairness based decisions.
How do people learn from and about others, and how does this affect their decision making? In ongoing work I am investigating how people synchronize during threat learning, how people learn to avoid dangers by taking advice from social partners, and, how people learn to trust and distrust individuals based on their group membership.