Some decisions are profound, such deciding what to do when two people are in danger and you can only save one. Other are less profound, but more common, such as deciding who to date. We study how people make these decisions.
In this lab, we develop quantitative models that predict people’s decisions before they actually make them. We have developed a model that accurately predicts choices when there is no objectively correct response, Psychological Value Theory (PVT).
Psychological Value Theory
Psychological Value Theory (PVT) is a computational cognitive theory of value and the cognitive processes associated with making value-based decisions. When presented with a choice, PVT predicts the probability you will choose option A over option B and the time it will take you to choose each option. Because PVT is fully quantified, it makes precise point predictions that are falsifiable. We have used PVT to successfully predict moral judgments, economic decisions, dating decisions, and more. We are always eager to test PVT’s ability to predict in new and novel situations.
In science, developing and testing models that make precise point predictions is important. Unfortunately, in psychology, it’s difficult to find a lab that will teach you how to develop quantitatively precise models. We are one such lab. Developing quantitatively precise models are the ultimate goal of most of the work we do in the lab. We have developed models of numerical cognition, value-based judgments, visual memory, and more.