My research focuses on human judgment and decision-making, and unfolds in two parts.
Part 1 deals with what theory tells us about how people should make decisions, and what observations show us about how people actually make decisions. As you might expect, the difference between theory and observation can sometimes be quite large. In other cases, the difference is pretty small. But, for almost every decision we make, there’s some gap between what we think should happen during decision-making, and what actually happens in practice. To study these differences, I conduct experiments in both lab and field settings.
Part 2 takes the results from my experiments (as well as the results from research conducted by colleagues) and uses them to develop and test decision support tools. In my view, it’s rather pointless to point out challenges to “good” decision-making without also making some thoughtful and science-based suggestions about how people, working individually and in groups, might overcome them.
In terms of the contexts for my research, they tend to be quite varied. What I work on depends largely on the research funding I have at a given time, or the individual interests of members in my research group. At the moment, the bulk of my research is set against the backdrop of climate change and energy transitions, international development, and natural hazards.