Ellen Evers, Professor

Closed (1) The Psychology of Judgment and Decision-Making

Applications for Spring 2019 are now closed for this project.

Why does it seem wrong that Apple intentionally slows down older iPhones? Why does it seem acceptable to sell a better version of a car at a higher price, but not acceptable to sell a worse version of a car at a lower price? How do people choose between a smaller reward that they can have immediately and a larger reward that they can have in the future? How do people choose when to schedule unpleasant activities? Why do prices that end in .99 seem so much better than prices one cent higher?

We answer questions such as these using the experimental method. Our lab harnesses insights from psychology and economics to study judgment and decision-making. We are particularly interested in studying the psychology of preferences: why people choose certain options over other alternatives.

Research assistants in our lab are involved in various aspects of the research process, from experimental design to data cleaning and analysis.

Research assistants in our lab will gain experience with various aspects of the research process such as:
- Conducting literature searches through online library sources
- Collecting and analyzing data
- Proofreading research materials and papers

We encourage students from all majors to apply.
Priority will be given to students that have an interest or coursework in Psychology, Cognitive Science, Behavioral Economics, Decision Theory, Statistics, Artificial Intelligence, or any related field.
Our lab is particularly interested in accepting and mentoring students with an interest in applying to graduate school to do research in Psychology, Decision-Making, Behavioral Economics, or any related field.

We hope that students working in our laboratory gain tangible skills that will be attractive to prospective employers and/or graduate advisors. Such skills include (but are not limited to):
1) Learning how to properly implement and make inferences from A/B tests.
2) Developing a basic understanding of tools that help collect, analyze, and display data.
3) Establishing a familiarity with current research in Psychology, Decision-Making, and Behavioral Economics.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Stephen Baum, PhD student; Kristin Donnelly, PhD student, Graduate Student

Qualifications: Required Qualifications: 1) An interest in basic experimental research and scientific inquiry. 2) Conscientiousness and meticulousness. We are only interested in taking students who are committed to completing their work honestly, thoroughly, and in a timely fashion. Preferred Qualifications (not required): 1) Coursework in Psychology, Cognitive Science, Behavioral Economics, Decision Theory, Statistics, or any related field. 2) Previous experience as a research assistant in the social/behavioral sciences. 3) Familiarity with commonly used research tools in the social/behavioral sciences (e.g., R or SPSS).

Weekly Hours: 9-11 hrs