University of Pittsburgh
The primary research focus of the lab is causal learning - how people learn cause-effect relationships from their experiences (e.g., this new medicine I have been trying seems to work well). We are especially interested in causal learning from time series data, in which the causes and effects exhibit gradual changes over time.
A more recent interest is the role of memory, especially long-term memory, for learning causal relations. We are currently conducing smartphone experiments to study causal learning and memory over 3-4 weeks.
Another current direction is studying how politically motivated reasoning affects causal judgments.
We are also interested in causal learning in everyday life, for example how people test whether a medicine is working or not, try new diets, or assess the efficacy of other lifestyle changes they make. We are also interested in how people form beliefs in 'pseudoscience' therapies that are not actually effective.
More broadly, we are interested in when and whether human decision makers make judgments that are approximately 'normative' (correct).
Kevin is a 6th year graduate student and has a Master's from University College London. He is especially interested in the interplay between time and causality, causal directionality, tipping points, and the philosophy of causality. His dissertation is on causal strength ratings and feelings about the ability to succesfully predict an effect given a cause.
Cory is a 5rd year graduate student and has a Master's from Missouri State University. He is especially interested in errors of human judgment, memory, and applications to causal reasoning. His dissertation is on illusory correlation.
Ciara (pronounced like Keira Knightley) is a second year graduate student and has a Master's from Seton Hall. She is especially interested in causal learning in cognitively demanding situations. She is currently studying how well people learn causal relations over 24 days using smartphone studies.
Zac is a second year graduate student and has a Master's from San Jose State. Zac has been working on human factors and sleep research at Nasa Ames and is especially interested in motivated reasoning and scientific beliefs. He is currently studying how political motivations can bias causal reasoning.
|Causality and Multiple Regression||R Shiny app for learning about the relation between Causality and Multiple Regression.|
|PsychCloud||Tutorial and Code for making psychology experiments (or interactive websites more generally) hosted on Google App Engine and Google's Could. This is he we program web experiments.|
|Research Methods Dojo||Tutorials for research methods students on within vs. between subjects designs, carryover, practice, and fatigue effects.|
|Causal Strength Calculators||Code for models of causal strength including Rescorla-Wagner (Rescorla & Wagner, 1972), ∆P (Jenkins & Ward, 1965), Power-PC (Cheng, 1997), and Temporal-difference (Sutton & Barto, 1987).|