What is Decision Research?
Decision Research focuses on the way individuals, groups and organisations make decisions. It involves perspectives that are:
- Descriptive - why and how decisions are made the way they are,
- Normative - how decisions should be made in some ideal sense, and
- Prescriptive - how can decision making be made more effective.
It is concerned with how people make judgments and take decisions,particularly in situations involving risk and uncertainty. The research has provided important insights into how and why people do what they do, why they make mistakes that can lead to poor outcomes for themselves and their organisations, and how we can use this knowledge to help them do it better.
Theories and findings from decision research have been applied extensively in such areas as political science, finance, marketing,health, medicine, management and the law. These applications have provided important insights into how decisions are taken in these areas, some of the errors and mistakes made by people, including experts, and how to improve these decisions.
Founded in March 1996, the Centre brings together researchers from across the University of Leeds, and other local Universities, who have an interest in human decision making. Its strong multi-disciplinary focus has led to research collaborations across a wide range of disciplines e.g. Computer Studies, Business and Management, Psychology, Philosophy, Transport Studies, Health Studies, Medicine, Civil Engineering, Geography, Law, Education. Despite the different fields of application, much of this work is based on a broadly shared theoretical and methodological core.
Members of the Centre carry out a broad range of research, much of it funded externally, publish extensively in academic journals, edited books and practitioner journals, as well as presenting at major national and international conferences. In addition, they teach on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, supervise doctoral students and run a broad range of short courses for professionals on various aspects of human judgment and decision making. These courses include general introductions that provide participants with insights about how they currently make decisions, some of the errors and biases inherent in what they do and how they can improve by using better ways of thinking and structured decision aids. In addition,members run specialist courses that are targeted on specific topics and professions e.g. behavioural finance for financial services professionals, consumer decision making for marketing professionals,risk communication for health, food and security service professionals.
Left to right: John Maule, Alan Pearman, Darren Duxbury, Barbara Summers, Elisa Barilli (Visiting Research Assistant), Yanan Feng (PhD student), Nicola Bown
Click here to listen to Emeritus Professor John Maule talking about Understanding and Improving Decision Making
This network of researchers is active in undertaking collaborative research and consulting work, both nationally and internationally, drawing on and combining the range of skills and facilities available within the University. The Centre has hosted a number of larger-scale conferences. Members of the Centre also engage in a range of teaching and training activities. These include: training in decision making skills for police officers, senior doctors and business professionals from many sectors; training in risk communication for a range of Government agencies. In addition, each of the Business School's MBA courses contains a module on Management Decision Making, covering both process and modelling aspects of decision support within organisations.
Publications and Presentations.
Andrea Taylor, Wandi Bruine de Bruin and co-author Suraje Dessai (of the Sustainability Research Institute) have had a paper on communicating uncertainty in seasonal and interannual climate forecasts to end-users accepted by Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A. Andrea recently presented the findings of this research at a workshop on 'Quantifying and communicating uncertainty' held by the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF).
It has been a particularly busy time for Gulbanu Kaptan lately. She has had an article published in Journal of Nanoparticle Research (impact factor 2.28) entitled "Awareness on adverse effects of nanotechnology increases negative perception among public: survey study from Singapore" (with Saji George at Nanyang Politechnic, Singapore and Lynn Frewer at Newcastle University).
Additionally, she has had a book chapter accepted for the third edition of "Handbook of Hygiene Control in the Food Industry ." Her book chapter, co-authored with Lynn Frewer and Arnout Fischer is entitled, "Consumer perceptions of risks from food."
Gulbanu also gave a presentation as an invited speaker in the multi-disciplinary workshop on "Designing law for nutrition-related health," seeking to initiate the development of a model which can improve regulatory design for nutrition and health needs in food law. The workshop was held at the University of Surrey on 8-9 June and organized by the University of Surrey's Food, Consumer Behaviour and Health Research Centre and Environmental Regulatory Research Group.
CDR Researchers Attend White Rose Doctoral Conference
On the 11th and 12th of June, 2015, the University of Sheffield hosted an important event for doctoral students from Leeds, York and Sheffield – White Rose DTC Business And Management, Accounting And Finance And Work Psychology Pathway Annual Conference 2015. This year the conference addressed the theme of sustainability in the domains of business and management, accounting and finance, and work psychology. Two postgraduate researchers, Sonja Perkovic and Vedran Lesic, from the Centre for Decision Research, actively participated in this conference. Sonja was part of poster session presenting her research topic: ”The analysis of consumers’ organic food decision making processes and choices: an eye-tracking study”, while Vedran gave paper presentation on topic: “Do consumers know how much electricity is used by their appliances?” The event provided an excellent opportunity for networking and allowed Vedran and Sonja to and receive valuable feedback on their research.
Wändi Bruine de Bruin at Other Universities
It has been a busy month for Wändi Bruine de Bruin in both the UK and the US. She not only gave the 2015 public 'Sluckin Lecture' at the University of Leicester's School of Psychology, entitled "A pathway to impact: figure skating judging, sex education and beyond", but also provided 'Conversations with the World's Best Scientists' and the 'Inaugural Director's Lecture' at the University of Michigan's Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, entitled "Developing effective communications." (Video of the latter will be made available online).While in the United States she also presented her ESRC-funded work on public perceptions of climate change and weather at Carnegie Mellon University's NSF-sponsored Climate and Energy Decision Making Centre (US), which was co-authored with Andrea Taylor (LUBS) and Suraje Dessai (Earth & Environment)
Papers Accepted and Published in May
Yasmina Okan had a paper accepted in ABS3-rated Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, entitled “How people with low and high graph literacy process health graphs: Evidence from eye-tracking”, with co-authors Mirta Galesic (Santa Fe Institute, US, and Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Germany) and Rocio Garcia-Retamero (University of Granada, Spain). Wändi Bruine de Bruin had a paper accepted in ABS3 journal Personality and Individual Differences, entitled "Variations in decision profiles by age and gender" (with US co-authors Rebecca Delaney and JoNell Strough at West Virginia University and Andrew Parker at RAND). This work was partially supported by Wandi's EU Marie Career Integration Grant. Finally, an account of aspects of Alan Pearman’s work undertaken with Integrated Decision Management Limited for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to support their national stakeholder dialogue regarding spent fuels and nuclear materials management has been published: G. McGlynn, G. Butler and A.D. Pearman, Stakeholder Preference Mapping—seeking a way forward for the processing of spent nuclear fuel, Journal of the Operational Research Society.
Exciting New Funding Received
Two members of CDR have recently received significant grants to assist them in their research: Wändi Bruine de Bruin received NSF funding through Carnegie Mellon University's Center for Climate and Energy Decision Making (PIs: engineers Ines Azevedo and Granger Morgan), which was renewed for 5 years at 4.5 Million USD. Simon McNair, meanwhile, has been awarded a 3-year Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship totalling £150,000 to conduct a project working with the Centre for Decision Research’s partners at Citizens Advice Bureau in Bradford and Leeds. The project is entitled “Developing more effective financial support service provision in the UK”, and will investigate the kinds of psychological barriers CAB clients may face when dealing with financial distress, and how such barriers may interfere with people’s ability to take on-board and apply the kind of advice offered to them by CAB practitioners. The project goal is to work with CAB to develop their service provision so that it is more effective in helping clients to both practically and mentally overcome financial difficulties.
New Roles for CDR Members
Wändi Bruine de Bruin joined the editorial board of the Journal of Risk Research and Alan Pearman has been appointed to the Analysis and Insight Academic Panel of the Cabinet Office, with special responsibility for quantitative evaluation. Experts on the panel provide specialist advice and quality assurance for relevant aspects of the Cabinet Office’s analytical work.
Major Events Organised by CDR
The Centre for Decision Research organised the second seminar in the ESRC Seminar Series on Food, Options, Opinions, and Decisions (FOOD) on the 16th April at the Food Standards Agency in London, entitled "Consumer behaviour: Overlaps between health, safety, waste, and sustainability." Speakers gave talks about food waste from a wide range of perspectives. Professor Matteo Vittuari (University of Bologna) discussed his work on food waste in Italy; Professor Julie Barnett (University of Bath) spoke about some of the methodological challenges involved in research on food waste, food safety and nutrition; and Dr Tom Quested from the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) talked about the many interconnections between household waste and everyday domestic practices. The event attracted a diverse range of academics working on food, policy experts, practitioners and representatives from leading food businesses. A key theme identified from this seminar was the need to disentangle how food waste is linked to, and dependent upon, a complex set of social, economic and environmental interactions. Presentations from the day are available to view here: http://lubswww.leeds.ac.uk/cdr/seminar-series-on-food/
The third seminar will be held 7th July at Newcastle University, entitled "Food choice, nutrition interventions and implications for waste" with speakers Prof. Paul Rozin (University of Pennsylvania); Prof. Louise Dye (University of Leeds) and Prof. Peter Jackson (University of Sheffield). Please e-mail Hannah Preston (email@example.com) if you are interested in attending (at no cost.) The seminar series is sponsored by the ESRC and organised by co-directors Nicola Bown and Gulbanu Kaptan, with support from Nick Piper, Hannah Preston, and PI Wändi Bruine de Bruin.
It was not the only significant event that the Centre organised recently. On the 14th and 15th of April, 2015, the University of Leeds hosted an important big data event – the Consumer Data Research Centre (CRDC) meeting. CRDC is an interdisciplinary and multi-institutional project funded by ESRC Data Investment. Researchers from 5 universities across the country (UCL, University of Liverpool, University of Oxford, Queen’s University of Belfast and University of Leeds) meet together for the to present projects related to big data covering topics from mobility, retail, finance, energy, decision-making and other. Professor Barbara Summers and two postgraduate researchers, Sonja Perkovic and Vedran Lesic from the Centre for Decision Research, presented their big data research projects which aim to understand the process of human decision-making in different contexts and ultimately help people make better decisions tomorrow. The event was great platform to network and meet colleagues who are working in the similar fields and open the dialogue about potential collaborations.
Richard Hodgett attended a Teaching with Data workshop in Manchester on Thursday 26th March. Representatives from Nuffield and the UK Data Service were present along with a number of academics from across the UK. The event focused around discussions about acquiring data for teaching, selecting software for teaching and providing feedback to the UK data service about their new online teaching resources.
Both Yasmina Okan and Wändi Bruine de Bruin gave invited presentations at the Workshop on Probability Perception and Risk Communication at Kingston University.Yasmina presented on her work on graph design for health risk communication, and Wändi presented on her ESRC-funded project about public preparedness for heat waves.
Nick Piper had a meeting at the Ministry of Food in Leeds, to present his research findings on food decision making as well as to plan new research on men's health and cookery skills.
Papers Accepted and Published
Wändi Bruine de Bruin and her co-authors presented their work on ageing and decision-making competence at a meeting of the NIH-sponsored Roybal Center for Decision Making to improve Health and Financial Independence in Old Age in Washington DC (US). She also had a paper accepted in ABS3-rated Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, entitled "Late life depression, suicidal ideation, and attempted suicide: The role of individual differences in maximizing, regret, and negative decision outcomes" (with US co-authors Dr. Andrew Parker at RAND as well as Dr Katalin Szanto and Dr Alexandre Dombrovski at the University of Pittsburgh Department of Psychiatry). It was funded by her EU Marie Curie Career Integration Grant.
Alan Pearman has published two papers based on work undertaken when Dr Nai-ming Xie from Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics was a visiting research fellow in the Centre for Decision Research, during the 2012-13 academic year. The papers are:
Xie, N-M. and A.D. Pearman, Forecasting energy consumption in China following instigation of an energy-saving policy, Natural Hazards, vol. 74, 2014, pp.639–659
Xie N-M, and A.D. Pearman, Comparing grey number weights under interval probability information background, Journal of Grey Systems, vol. 27(1), 2015, pp.21-37.
Successful PhD Defence
Wändi Bruine de Bruin served as supervisor on Alycia Chin's PhD thesis at Carnegie Mellon University, entitled "Addressing Consumers’ Information Needs: An Investigation of Credit Card Disclosures." Alycia successfully defended her thesis on 3 April, and has taken up a post at the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in Washington DC (US). Alycia and Wändi will continue to work together on projects about understanding and improving consumers' financial decision making.
In the News in the Netherlands
CDR made the news in the Netherlands! Wändi Bruine de Bruin’s project on heat waves and climate change was featured in the national newspaper NRC Handelsblad. The article’s title roughly translates as 'Climate change? Nice, warmer weather!'
Presentations and Events
Wändi also gave an invited presentation at the University of Sheffield School of Health and Related Research, on developing effective health communications.
John Maule ran a morning session with Kirklees Council Cabinet entitled 'Understanding and Improving the Decisions taken by the Kirklees Cabinet'. The session focused on improving decision making in the face of budget reductions.
Two members of CDR had papers accepted in psychology journals in March: Yasmina Okan co-authored a paper accepted in the Spanish Journal of Psychology entitled “Disentangling the effect of valence and arousal on judgments concerning moral transgressions” with colleagues at the University of Granada (with Luis de la Viña, David Garcia-Burgos, Antonio Cándido, and Felisa González), whilst Wändi had a paper accepted in Frontiers in Psychology, entitled "Negative decision outcomes are more common among people with lower decision-making competence: An item-level analysis of the Decision Outcome Inventory (DOI)" (with Andrew Parker at RAND and Baruch Fischhoff at Carnegie Mellon University, both in the US).
MSc Students Take Up a Challenge
Students on CDR's MSc Business Analytics & Decision Sciences have taken part in a “Leadership Challenge” with Premier Farnell organized by Jo Lumb, Engagement Manager in the Business School’s Management Division.
Saptarshi Ray, MSc Business Analytics and Decision Sciences says: “We are taking part in the leaders' challenge with one of the finest e-commerce companies in the world; Premier Farnell. We have got the challenge of demonstrating how big data analytics can help the company to improve their revenue and organisational efficiencies. We will be working as consultants for one month and will provide our suggestions to them.
“With the guidance of our Programme Director, Professor Alan Pearman, we undertook research on the company background and their business policy before going to the company and meeting their top personnel. Premier Farnell gave us a short presentation about their company and also briefed us on their current challenges and what they expect from us. We were given the opportunity to ask key questions to help with the challenge.
“It is a great experience for us to work as real life analytics consultants, which most of the students on our course aspire to be in their future career. We are grateful to Premier Farnell and the University of Leeds for providing us with this opportunity.”
The student group's analysis of the company's position was very well received and they subsequently were invited to make a full presentation to senior UK and US managers.
In addition to serving as a visiting scholar at the Dutch Central Bank this month, Wändi Bruine de Bruin gave an invited presentation on public perceptions of weather and climate change at the University of Leiden’s Department of Social and Organizational Psychology (Netherlands).
She was not the only CDR member presenting in February: Yasmina Okan gave an invited talk for Cancer Research UK at their Cancer Risk Perception and Prevention Innovation Workshop in Oxfordshire, entitled: “Communicating health-related risks effectively: Barriers and ways to overcome them”, while Hilary Bekker and Barbara Summers were invited to take part in discussion forum on shared decision making run by NICE (the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence) in London. The event aimed to explore the ongoing work across the UK relevant to supporting patients’ decision making and to explore the need for ongoing collaboration.
Papers Accepted in ABS 4-rated Journals
February saw a number of members of the CDR have papers accepted in various ABS 4-rated journals.
Wändi Bruine de Bruin had a paper accepted in International Review of Economics, entitled “Inflation expectations and behavior: Do survey respondents act on their beliefs?” with colleagues at the US Federal Reserve (Olivier Armantier, Wilbert van der Klaauw, Giorgio Topa, and Basit Zafar).
Dinos Hadjichristidis meanwhile had two papers accepted in ABS 4-rated journals, both on the topic of how using a foreign language shapes judgement and decision making. The first (co-authored with Janet Geipel and Lucia Savadori of the University of Trento) is entitled “The effect of foreign language in judgments of risk and benefit: The role of affect” and published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied. The second (again co-authored with Janet Geipel and, this time, with Luca Surian, again of the University of Trento) is “How foreign language shapes moral thought” and was published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
March will be a busy month in the CDR seminar series, kicking off with Alessia Rosi discussing the “Decision-making process in aging: the impact of affect and complexity of the task on decision-making ability in older adults”.
The following week, Danielle Santanna and Gary Dymski will present on “Deciphering the Role of Decision-Making in Financial Exclusion: Putting Evidence from Leeds into Context”
Dafina Petrova (of the Mind, Brain and Behaviour Research Centre at the University of Granada, Spain, and an affiliated researcher at the Decision Science and Decision Education Lab at Michigan Technological University) will be presenting a seminar on “To screen or not to screen: What factors influence preventive behaviour in the information age?” on Wednesday 18th March. This seminar is part of the activities planned for the Fund for International Research Collaborations Grant (awarded to Yasmina Okan and Wändi Bruine de Bruin).
CDR member, Simon McNair, will present on Wednesday 25th March.
All four seminars will take place in Room 1.44 of the Maurice Keyworth Building from 12.30 – 14.00.
Food for Thought: The first Food Options Opinions and Decisions seminar
On January 20th the CDR hosted the first in an ESRC funded series of seminars entitled ‘Food Options, Opinions and Decisions’ (FOOD). The first event focussed on practitioners’ perspectives on consumers’ choices about food safety, nutrition and waste.
Speakers included Professor Wandi Bruine de Bruin from the CDR, Dr Sian Thomas from the Food Standards Agency (FSA), Dr Andrew Parry from the Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP) and Dr Kieron Stanley from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
This was followed up by a lively panel discussion where attendees from a broad range of disciplines asked questions of the speakers. Topics discussed included: food safety and disease risk, alternative protein sources, supply chain issues, food governance, sustainable consumption, waste reduction and the problems involved in designing effective communications about food.
Several ideas for research have already been conceived of as a result of discussions at the event, including analysing datasets held by the FSA on UK food consumption behaviours.
The next seminar - “Consumer behaviour and food security: Health, safety and sustainability” - will be held on April 16th at the FSA in London.
Papers Accepted In a Wide Variety Of Journals
A number of CDR members have had papers accepted and published recently.
Nick Piper has had a paper entitled "Jamie Oliver and Cultural Intermediation" published in Food, Culture and Society. (25 (2), 245-264.) Nick will also be presenting a CDR seminar on his research on Jamie Oliver on Wednesday 4th February - “Audiencing Jamie Oliver” - 12.30 – 14.00 in the Maurice Keyworth building, room 1.24.
Andrea Taylor and Wandi Bruine de Bruin had a paper accepted on the ESRC-funded heat wave project in ABS4-rated journal Social Science & Medicine entitled “Heat protection behaviours and positive affect about heat during the 2013 heat wave in the United Kingdom” (with Suraje Dessai, School of Earth & Environment; Carmen Lefevre, Northumbria University; Sari Kovats, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; Baruch Fischhoff, Carnegie Mellon University).
Yasmina Okan had a paper accepted in ABS4-rated Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied entitled “Improving risk understanding across ability levels: Encouraging active processing with dynamic icon arrays” (with Dr. Rocio Garcia-Retamero and Prof. Antonio Maldonado at the University of Granada and Dr. Edward T. Cokely at the Michigan Technological University).
Simon McNair had an article published in Frontiers in Psychology (impact factor 2.8) entitled "Beyond the status-quo: Research on Bayesian Reasoning must develop in theory and method."
Alessia Rosi Visits CDR to Work on Ageing and Decision-Making Competence Project
PhD student Alessia Rosi (University of Pavia) is visiting CDR for six months to work on a project on ageing and decision-making competence. Please stop by room 1.22 to say hi!
Alessia will be giving a CDR seminar entitled “Decision-making process in aging: the impact of affect and complexity of the task on decision-making ability in older adults” on Wednesday 4th March, 11.30 – 1pm in room 1.44 in the Maurice Keyworth building.
Wandi Bruine de Bruin had a paper accepted in the Journal of Risk Research (impact factor of 1.3) on lessons learned from developing communications about Carbon Capture and Storage (with engineers Granger Morgan at Carnegie Mellon and Lauren Fleishman at RAND)
Wandi Bruine de Bruin was cited in an article in the New Statesman, on the topic of public risk perceptions about ebola - click here for article
Wandi Bruine de Bruin was part of a successful bid to The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences, including esteemed colleagues at Lund University (Sweden) and Carnegie Mellon University (US). From 2005-2020, the international team will study approaches for better combining scientific data and experiential data in the support of health policy.
Wandi Bruine de Bruin served on the third expert panel on effectiveness of health risk communication for the Council of Canadian Academies (http://www.scienceadvice.ca/en/assessments/in-progress/risk-comm/expert-panel.aspx)
Wandi Bruine de Bruin gave an invited presentation on using behavioural science to inform crisis management and risk regulation, at the Organisation for Economic Collaboration and Development (OECD, France): http://www.irgc.org/event/annual-conference-2014/
Wandi Bruine de Bruin visited the RAND Corporation (US) to continue collaborative work on ageing and decision-making competence, as well as Carnegie Mellon University (US) to support her PhD student Casey Canfield in her dissertation proposal (=transfer meeting) and continue collaborative work on public perceptions of climate change adaptation and weather.
Soo Hyun Cho, Cäzilia Loibl, Loren V. Geistfeld and Curt Haugtvedt. (Forthcoming). Motivation for emergency and retirement saving: an examination of Regulatory Focus Theory, International Journal of Consumer Studies
Moulton, Stephanie, Michael Collins, Cäzilia Loibl and Anya Samak. (Forthcoming). Effects of Monitoring on Mortgage Delinquency: Evidence from a Randomized Field Study, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.
Yasmina Okan and CDR hosted international visitor Dr. Michelle McDowell from the Harding Center for Risk Literacy, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin. Michelle gave a seminar on developing simple health decision tools for patients and developed plans to collaborate with CDR. Her visit was supported by a grant awarded by the World Universities Network (Fund for International Research Collaborations) to Yasmina Okan and Wandi Bruine de Bruin, entitled “Developing an International Interdisciplinary Network of Experts to Improve Health Risk Communications through Graphs”
Cäzilia Loibl was appointed member of the editorial board of the Journal of Economic Psychology. Her three-year term is starting January 01, 2015.
Stephanie Moulton, Anya Savikhin Samek, and Cäzilia Loibl. Forthcoming. Save at home: Building emergency savings one mortgage payment at a time. In: J. Michael Collins (Ed.): A fragile balance: Emergency savings and liquid resources for low-income consumers. Palgrave Macmillan.
Nicola Bown presented a poster at the Decision Making Bristol conference, 9-12 September, “Exploring domestic food waste production and reduction behaviour through judgment and decision making theory: Implications for intervention.”
The Centre for Decision Research hosted international visitor Gabriella Eriksson from the University of Stockholm’s Department of Psychology and the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute. Gabriella gave a seminar on drivers’ cognitive judgements and developed plans to collaborate with CDR and the Institute for Transport Studies at Leeds.
Andrea Taylor had a paper accepted for a new open-access journal Climate Risk Management entitled “Public perception of climate risk and adaptation in the UK: A review of the literature” (with Suraje Dessai in Earth & Environment and Wandi Bruine de Bruin in CDR)
Wandi Bruine de Bruin gave an invited presentation at the University of Sheffield School of Management Doctoral Training Centre on conducting interdisciplinary research with impact
Wandi Bruine de Bruin gave an invited presentation at the Brainbox Research meeting on Innovations in Road User Behaviour Change in Wakefield.
Carmen Lefevre’s new paper on the benefits of eating fruit and vegetables on appearance received media coverage (inc. Telegraph, Daily Mail, and ScienceDaily; e.g. http://tinyurl.com/nrq4n4v) and Carmen gave an interview to the Daily Mail about this work. Carmen also gave an interview to BBC4 about her work on facial attractiveness more generally, to be used in a forthcoming programme on changes in beauty ideals across time.
Carmen Lefevre also delivered an invited outreach presentation, speaking at Bootham School in York about the benefits of a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Carmen Lefevre presented her work with Wandi on preparedness for heatwaves at the Public Health England annual conference that was held at the University of Warwick on 16th-17th September.
Carmen Lefevre had a paper accepted at Frontiers in Human Neuroscience (IF2.9) with collaborator Brian Spisak and others entitled 'A face for all seasons: Searching for context-specific leadership traits and discovering a general preference for perceived health' (http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fnhum.2014.00792/abstract)
Simon McNair recently gave a talk at the 13th Tiber Symposium at Tilburg University in Holland. The talk covered research he is conducting at the minute along with Marijke Van Putten (Leiden University), and Ilona de Hooge (Erasmus University) which is investigating how moral emotions might influence financial and social sunk-cost decisions.
Simon McNair also recently gave a talk at the International Congress of Applied Psychology, which took place in the Palais des Congres, Paris. The talk covered research he has conducted along with CDR colleagues (Wandi Bruine de Bruin, Barbara Summers, and Rob Ranyard) investigating factors influencing peoples’ spending behaviour at Christmas.
Simon McNair has also been invited to contribute an article to an upcoming special edition of Frontiers in Psychology (Cognition) on how to assist people in making better probabilistic judgements.
John Maule - sections of an interview with John were included in a BBC Radio Scotland documentary on decision making broadcast on 17th September. The documentary outlined current work on the psychology of decision making and discussed this work in the context of the Scottish devolution vote.
Yasmina Okan delivered an invited seminar at the Department of Psychology, University of Minho (Portugal) entitled “Using and misusing graphs to communicate medical and health risks: Underlying mechanisms and effects on decision making”
Yasmina Okan delivered an invited seminar for the Psychosocial Oncology and Clinical Practice Research Group (POCPRG), St James’s Institute of Oncology, entitled “Communicating health-related statistics using graphs: Benefits and pitfalls”
Cäzilia Loibl, Anastasia Snyder, and Travis Mountain. 2014. The informational and psychological challenges of converting to a frugal life. Presentation at the International Centre for Anti-consumption Research (ICAR) Symposium 2014, Kiel July 4-5 (July 4)
Cazilia Loibl (06/2014 - 05/2016) John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation “How housing matters to families & communities,” $70,000, Randomized Pilot Study of Post-Origination Monitoring for Reverse Mortgage Borrowers, Principal Investigator: Stephanie Moulton, John Glenn School of Public Affairs, The Ohio State University
Cäzilia Loibl (2014). OSU Extension Housing Counseling Services: A comprehensive program package, Journal of Extension, Vol. 52(3), 3IAW7
Carmen Lefevre co-organised a conference entitled ‘From DNA to Social Minds’ that was held at the University of York from 30th June – 1st July. She also delivered a talk at this conference entitled: ‘The impact of subtle differences in skin colour on apparent health and attractiveness’
Carmen Lefevre had a paper accepted at the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology (ABS4) entitled: ‘Fruit over sunbed: Carotenoid skin coloration is found more attractive than melanin coloration’. [here is the link to the paper: www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17470218.2014.944194]
Barbara Summers was one of the presenters at a workshop “The Power of Language in Cognition Scholarship”, organized by Gail Clarkson (LUBS) and Vadake Narayanan (Drexel University) at the Academy of Management Conference in Philadelphia, USA in August. An aim of the workshop was to give participants a better understanding of research and methodologies outside their own field, and Barbara discussed the potential insights from decision research.
Barbara Summers gave a talk at the University of Maastricht in June on “Emotions in Financial Decision Making and Reactions to Risk”, drawing on a range of work including collaborations with Darren Duxbury, John Maule and Alan Pearman.
Barbara Summers was co-author on a paper “Ethics and the Work of Tax Practitioners: Developing and Testing a Theoretical Framework” presented at the 18th International Symposium on Ethics, Business and Society, IESE Business School, Barcelona in June.
Nicola Bown, Gulbanu Kaptan, and Wändi Bruine de Bruin (PI) received an ESRC grant of £30,000 to organize a “Seminar Series on Food Options, Opinions and Decisions (FOOD): Integrating perspectives on consumer perceptions of food safety, nutrition and waste.” The seminar series will bring together academics and policy makers, and will be hosted at the University of Leeds, University of NewCastle, the Food Standards Agency, and Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP)
Wändi Bruine de Bruin was interviewed by the Washington Inquirer (US) about her Federal Reserve project on consumers’ inflation expectations (http://washingtonexaminer.com/americans-keep-getting-inflation-wrong-heres-why-that-matters/article/2551765)
Wändi Bruine de Bruin was interviewed by Metro (UK) about her ESRC project on heatwaves (http://metro.co.uk/2014/07/18/britain-braces-for-heatwave-but-cant-we-just-use-common-sense-to-keep-cool-4801748/)
Wändi Bruine de Bruin gave a presentation about her ESRC project on heatwaves at the Behavioral Decision Research in Management conference at the London Business School on the day the Metro interview came out (co-authors: Dr. Carmen LeFevre and Dr. Andrea Taylor from CDR/LUBS, Prof. Suraje Dessai from Earth & Environment, Dr. Sari Kovats from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and Prof. Baruch Fischhoff from Carnegie Mellon University)
Wändi Bruine de Bruin gave a presentation about her ESRC project on heatwaves and related work at the annual meeting of EPSRC-funded UK-wide ClimathNet centre at the University of Leeds Wändi Bruine de Bruin had a paper accepted on “Public perceptions of local flood risks and the role of climate change” (with Dr. Gabrielle Wong-Parodi and Prof. Granger Morgan at Carnegie Mellon University) at the journal Environment Systems and Decisions (new journal, no impact factor yet)
Wandi Bruine de Bruin, Simon McNair, Andrea Taylor, Barbara Summers, and CDR visiting professor JoNell Strough from West Virginia University had a paper on aging accepted by the journal Medical Decision Making (impact factor 2.89). The paper is entitled: "“Thinking about numbers is not my idea of fun”: Need for cognition mediates age differences in numeracy performance." The paper argues that older adults perform worse on aptitude tests because they are less motivated to think hard about complex problems that lack personal relevance.
Wandi Bruine de Bruin gave an invited presentation at the NSF-sponsored annual meeting of Carnegie Mellon University's Center for Climate and Energy Decision Making (US). She discussed her ESRC-funded project on pubic perceptions of climate change and preparedness for hot weather, which involves Carmen LeFevre (CDR), Andrea Taylor (CDR), Suraje Dessai (Earth & Environment), CDR visiting professor Baruch Fischhoff (Carnegie Mellon University, US) and others.
Wandi Bruine de Bruin spent a week at the RAND Corporation (US) to work on various policy-relevant research projects with Andrew Parker and colleagues.
Carmen Lefevre gave a presentation on individual differences in facial cues to aggression at the "British Society for the Psychology of Individual Differences annual meeting" at City University London.
Carmen Lefevre gave delivered an invited seminar on "Health Cues from Skin Colouration" at the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology, University of Glasgow.
Yasmina Okan gave an invited seminar at ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich) as part of the Consumer Behavior Colloquium Series, entitled: "Individual differences in graph comprehension: Implications for graphical health communication". During her visit she met with researchers from the Institute for Environmental Decisions and discussed projects investigating risk perception and communication in different applied domains.
Andrea Taylor presented her research "Preference reversal and dominance violation in risky choice with asymmetric outcomes" at the Workshop on Subjective Expectations and Probabilities in Economics and Psychology, University of Essex.
Carmen Lefevre had a paper published in PloS ONE entitled “Facial Width-To-Height Ratio Relates to Alpha Status and Assertive Personality in Capuchin Monkeys” (http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0093369) with co-authors Vanessa Wilson, Blake Morton, Sarah Brosnan, Annika Paukner, and Timothy Bates.
Carmen Lefevre gave a presentation as part of an invited symposium at “Tagung experimentell arbeitender Psychologen” (Conference of Experimental Psychologists) in Giessen, Germany. She also presented her work on health appearance at the European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association Annual Conference in Bristol.
Wandi Bruine de Bruin gave an invited presentation on risk communication at the Dutch Ministry for Infrastructure and the Environment's Workshop on 'Explicitly Considering Safety.' The Hague, The Netherlands
Wandi Bruine de Bruin gave an invited seminar at Kingston University's Department of Psychology
Simon McNair presented his research “Whose statistical reasoning is facilitated by a causal structure intervention” at the recent “Workshop on Subjective Expectations and Probabilities in Economics and Psychology” at the University of Essex,
Caezilia Loibl is Co-Investigator on a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's grant program on “How housing matters to families & communities,” $70,000, entitled “Randomized Pilot Study of Post-Origination Monitoring for Reverse Mortgage Borrowers”.
Yasmina Okan attended a meeting in the University of Potsdam (Germany) together with researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development (Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition), and presented her work on graphical risk communication. The meeting was part of the activities planned for her recently awarded project entitled “Developing an International Interdisciplinary Network of Experts to Improve Health Risk Communications through Graphs”
Workshop on Subjective Expectations and Probabilities in Economics and Psychology at the University of Essex Institute for Social and Economic Research (27-28 March 2014)
Postdoctoral researcher, Simon McNair, presented his poster entitled 'Whose Statistical Reasoning is Facilitated by a Causal Structure Intervention' to Andrew Parker (RAND Corporation, USA) at the Workshop.
Postdoctoral researcher, Andrea Taylor, presented her poster entitled 'Preference Reversal and Dominance Violation in Risky Choir with Asymmetric Outcomes' at the Workshop.
Visiting Professor, Eric Stone (Wake Forest University, USA) was the skilled photographer.
Wändi Bruine de Bruin gave an invited presentation about "public perceptions of extreme weather events and climate change" (co-authored with CDR postdoc Andrea Taylor and others) at the American Geophysical Union's Fall Meeting Session on Climate Change Effects on Natural Hazards: Science, Communication and Policy. San Francisco CA, USA
Wändi Bruine de Bruin was invited to join the programme committee of the 2014 Behavioral Decision Research in Management Conference
Andrea Taylor & Rob Ranyard presented a poster at the Risk: Perception, Measurement & Policy workshop at City University London.
Probability neglect in risky choice: the role of numeracy and intrinsic happiness
Wändi Bruine de Bruin gave an invited presentation at EPFL in Lausanne on Developing Effective Communications of Uncertainty, at a workshop on “uncertainty: insights and actions” organized by the International Risk Governance Council
Yasmina Okan gave a seminar as part of the School of Healthcare Seminar Series, University of Leeds, on 20th November. Title: When and why do graphs enhance the comprehension of health-related statistics?
Yasmina Okan gave a seminar as part of the London Judgment and Decision Making Seminar Series, University College London, on 27th November. Title: When and why do graphs enhance risk comprehension? Considering the impact of graph literacy
CDR again had a presence at the annual meeting of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making, held in November in Toronto, Canada. Wändi Bruine de Bruin, Simon McNair and Barbara Summers were judges in the Best Student Poster competition. CDR members were also involved in 6 pieces of research presented at the conference:
- More waste, less heed: Understanding domestic food waste from a judgment and decision making perspective
Bown, Nicola (Centre for Decision Research, University of Leeds)
- Hindsight bias about 2012 US election outcomes: Individual differences in knowing it all along
McNair, Simon (University of Leeds); Bruine de Bruin, Wändi (University of Leeds and Carnegie Mellon University);Peters, Ellen (Ohio State University); Fischhoff, Baruch (Carnegie Mellon University)
- Same old problems? Causal structure as an intervention to overcome Base Rate Neglect
McNair, Simon (Leeds University Business School); Feeney, Aidan (Queen's University Belfast)
- Risk and responsibility
Summers, Barbara (Centre for Decision Research University of Leeds); Duxbury, Darren (Centre for Decision Research, University of Leeds)
- Probability neglect in risky choice: the role of numeracy and intrinsic happiness
Taylor, Andrea (University of Leeds); Ranyard, Rob (University of Bolton)
- Mood and Economic Expectations After the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election
Williamson, Leanne M. (The Ohio State University); Peters, Ellen (The Ohio State University); Bruine de Bruin, Wändi (Centre for Decision Research, Leeds University Business School; Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University)
Wandi Bruine de Bruin received a 200k ESRC grant on public preparedness for heatwaves, involving an international collaboration with Suraje Dessai (Earth & Environment, Leeds), Andrea Taylor (Earth & Environment and LUBS, Leeds), Baruch Fischhoff (Engineering & Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University), Sari Kovats (“Living with Environmental Change Fellow” at Public Health England), and Carmen LeFevre (LUBS, Leeds)
Wandi Bruine de Bruin was invited to join the Association of Business Schools (ABS) scientific committee that designs the International Guide to Academic Journal Quality, to represent Behavioural Science
Wandi Bruine de Bruin visited ETH Zurich's Consumer Behavior Group to give an invited seminar on public perceptions of climate change and changes in extreme weather events
Wandi Bruine de Bruin visited the University of Maastricht's School of Business and Economics to give an invited seminar on consumer surveys about inflation expectations
Yasmina Okan had a presentation at the 35th Annual Meeting of the Society for Medical Decision Making held in Baltimore, USA;
Galesic, M., & Okan, Y. (2013). Short graph literacy scale.
Barbara Summers give an invited talk on survey research at the workshop “Shedding light on the shadow of economy; A critical assessment of methods in tax research” held at the University of Vienna. There were delegates from 23 countries including both academics and tax officials.
Barbara Summers was an invited delegate at the “Consumer Confidence in DC Savings” workshop held by NEST (the pension company set up in response to the Pensions Act 2008 which introduced auto-enrolment). This looked at research being done into pension design in the context of the move to more widespread pension scheme membership, and had delegates from government and industry.
Yasmina Okan had a presentation at the 35th Annual Meeting of the Society for Medical Decision Making held in Baltimore, USA;
Galesic, M., & Okan, Y. (2013). Short graph literacy scale.
Barbara Summers give an invited talk on survey research at the workshop “Shedding light on the shadow of economy; A critical assessment of methods in tax research” held at the University of Vienna. There were delegates from 23 countries including both academics and tax officials.
Barbara Summers was an invited delegate at the “Consumer Confidence in DC Savings” workshop held by NEST (the pension company set up in response to the Pensions Act 2008 which introduced auto-enrolment). This looked at research being done into pension design in the context of the move to more widespread pension scheme membership, and had delegates from government and industry.
Wändi Bruine de Bruin will host her inaugural lecture on 24 September entitled "Understanding and Improving Decisions through Behavioural Decision Research"
Wändi Bruine de Bruin received a Marie Curie Career Integration Grant from the EU to study how to improve decision-making competence across the life span, focusing especially on older adults. She will work with AgeUK and an international team of decision researchers and ageing specialists. Findings should help to promote decision autonomy and good life decision outcomes in people of all ages
Wändi Bruine de Bruin presented a paper on internet survey methods at the University of Michigan Conference on Economic Decision Making in Aspen, Colorado, which was sponsored by the US National Institute on Ageing.
CDR’s project on the psychology of debt at Christmas received personal approval from the Chief executive of the city council, who has said that he is happy for us to say we are doing the work in association with Leeds City Council. Simon McNair, Wändi Bruine de Bruin, Barbara Summers and Rob Ranyard are involved in the project.
CDR had a notable presence at SPUDM, the major European conference for decision making which was held in August. Barbara Summers was on the scientific committee for the conference, and Wändi Bruine de Bruin and Hilary Bekker were both reviewers. Barbara took over as President-Elect of the European Association for Decision Making at this meeting and was a member of the panel on a discussion session for early career researchers. CDR members were involved in 7 pieces of research presented at the conference:
- Should patient narratives be used to support people’s treatment decision making: An experimental study about dialysis options
Hilary Bekker, Teresa Gavaruzzi and Barbara Summers, on behalf of the YoDDA Research Team
- Designing effective communications about climate change. (In symposium on a cross-national study of uncertainty and perceptions of global climate change)
Wändi Bruine de Bruin
- Getting older isn’t all that bad: Better decisions and coping when faced with sunk costs.
Wändi Bruine de Bruin, Andrew M. Parker, & JoNell Strough
- Designing an electricity bill to motivate savings: The effect of format on responses to electricity use information.
Casey Inez Canfield, Wändi Bruine de Bruin, & Gabrielle Wong-Parodi
- Risk and responsibility.
Darren Duxbury & Barbara Summers
- Causal structure as an intervention to overcome base rate neglect: same old problems?
Simon McNair & Aidan Feeney
- Personal borrowing and repayment decisions: Mental accounting and the role of cost and loan duration information.
- The narrow interpretation conjecture meets the planning fallacy.
Barbara Summers, Konstantinos Hadjichristidis, & Kevin Thomas
- Probability neglect in risky choice: The role of numeracy, cognitive reflection and happiness.
Andrea Taylor & Rob Ranyard
Wändi Bruine de Bruin presented a paper on internet survey methods at CentERdata, 7th work shop on Measurement and Experimentation in the Social Sciences (MESS), in Scheveningen, the Netherlands.
Wändi Bruine de Bruin organized a symposium on sustainability for the pre-conference of the Association for Consumer Research at Universidad Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain
Wändi Bruine de Bruin gave an invited presentation on ageing and decision-making competence at the European Congress of Psychology 2013 in Stockholm, Sweden June 2013
Wändi Bruine de Bruin participated in a meeting of the International Risk Governance Council in Boston, US.
CDR recently hosted a short visit by Professor Takehiko Yamato from the Department of Social Engineering at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Japan). His research fields include Mechanism Design and Experimental Economics. During his one-week visit, he had insightful discussions with CDR members on market experiments at a subject group meeting, and conducted a research collaboration with Ken-Ichi Shimomura.
CDR welcomes Ken-Ichi Shimomura who joins the Centre as a Visiting Professor for one year from 1st September. He is Professor of the Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration at Kobe University (Japan). He has a Ph.D in Economics from the University of Rochester (USA).
His research interests include Microeconomic Theory, Game Theory, and Experimental Economics. He has published papers in refereed journals such as the Journal of Economic Theory, International Journal of Game Theory, Journal of Mathematical Economics, and RAND Journal of Economics.
CDR welcomes Koen Dijkstra, who joins us as a Lecturer in Behavioural Decision Making. Koen’s research focuses on information processing in Judgment and decision-making. He is fascinated by human behaviour and the automatic and unconscious processes that often guide it. Last year he received his PhD from the University of Amsterdam for his dissertation on information processing in judgment decision making.
Koen has a particular interest in how scientific knowledge can help explain decision making in important domains (e.g., decision-making in the field of financial products/markets, legal judgments, health related behaviour), and how it can contribute to improve decision making.
During his PhD he taught students academic writing, research methods, and supervised students in their master's-project and thesis. His teaching skills further benefit from his experience as a trainer in decision making at Trimension (Consultancy). Before starting his academic career he trained emergency teams in decision making at a local, regional, and national level.
CDR welcomes Bill Gerrard who joins the Centre as Professor of Business and Sports Analytics and Programme Director for BSc Business Analytics. His principal research area is the use of statistical analysis within an evidence-based approach to decision making with a particular focus on the pro team sports industry. He has published papers analysing different aspects of the sports business including football transfer fees, coaching efficiency, stadium naming rights, ownership effects on sporting and financial performance, and the wage-win relationship. Another research interest is the radical Keynesian approach to the effects of uncertainty on decision making. Bill follows the adage that the aim is not just to understand the world but also to change it. He has pioneered the development of statistical performance analysis and an evidence-based approach to coaching in football, rugby league and rugby union. He has worked as a technical analyst with Saracens, a leading rugby union team, since March 2010. His work includes identification and tracking of team and player KPIs, post-game analysis, preparation of detailed reports on future opponents identifying their strengths and weaknesses, and periodic reviews of team and player performance trends. Bill also provides statistical analysis for the SkySports coverage of Super League including a traffic-lights system of KPIs and an in-game performance gauge for televised games to track game momentum. Previously he has worked with various UK football clubs, an Australian rugby league team, and Billy Beane, the General Manager of the Oakland Athletics in Major League Baseball. Bill holds the UEFA B football coaching licence. He has acted as an expert witness in several sports legal cases. Bill is an economics graduate of the University of Aberdeen, Trinity College, Cambridge and the University of York.
Wandi Bruine de Bruin was an Invited participant to the Scientific & Technical Council meeting of the International Risk Governance Council in Boston (US)
Wandi Bruine de Bruin gave an invited presentation at the annual meeting of the Centre for Climate and Environmental Decision Making at Carnegie Mellon University (US), sponsored by the US National Science Foundation
Barbara Summers was invitied to give an email interview for the blog :InDecision:, which is run for and by early career researchers and practitioners in decision making psychology. She appeared in the June "Research Heroes" section. You can read her interview here
Wandi Bruine de Bruin's PhD student Casey Canfield presented a poster co-authored with Wandi on redesigning electricity bills to provide better electricity use feedback to consumers at the annual meeting of Carnegie Mellon University's Center for Climate and Energy and Decision Making, which is sponsored by the US National Science Foundation
Wandi Bruine de Bruin's postdoc Gabrielle Wong-Parodi presented a paper co-authored with Wandi on public perceptions of climate change and flood risk at the annual meeting of Carnegie Mellon University's Center for Climate and Energy and Decision Making, which is sponsored by the US National Science Foundation
Andrea Taylor, a postdoc in the Centre for Decision Research, presented at paper at the British Psychological Society’s Annual Conference (‘Choice process and emotional state: the divergent influences of intrinsic and incidental happiness’)
Barbara Summers has been elected to serve as the next President Elect of the European Association for Decision Making (EADM). EADM is an interdisciplinary academic organisation dedicated to normative, descriptive, and prescriptive decision research, which hosts the international bi-annual conference on Subjective Utility, Probability, and Decision Making (SPUDM). Barbara has been an active member of EADM, and served on the Board for the past 2 years.
CDR welcomes Simon McNair, who has joined the Centre as a post-doctural researcher. Simon recently completed his PhD in the School of Psychology at Queen’s University, Belfast, where he was also awarded his BSc. With a core interested in judgement and decision-making, Simon’s PhD research studied how people think about competing forms of uncertain evidence when making probabilistic judgements, and in particular whether facilitating people to more intuitively construct transient causal models can improve judgement accuracy when integrating statistical evidence, and to what extent numeracy, and visual diagrams, can also influence this process. Simon is also interested in the psychological factors which influence how people think, feel, and act in relation to problem debt, and of late has conducted research on behalf of Grant Thornton UK LLP looking at how self-conscious emotions may affect decisions people take in response to problem debt. In joining the CDR, Simon hopes to not only continue his debt research, but also pursue research on how ageing and emotions affect decision-making in later life, as well as studying health decision making.
John Maule was featured in the Business Section of the BBC News website on Saturday 20th April in an article - 'Annuity rates must prompt rethink', and in the Mail on Sunday in an article - 'Are you doing enough to find a richer retirement? Exploring all options is vital to protect pensions against scourge of inflation'
Wändi Bruine de Bruin gave invited seminar on ageing and decision-making competence at the University of Lund's Department of Philosophy and Medical Ethics, Sweden
In April Wändi Bruine de Bruin hosted university-wide seminars by international visitors Professor JoNell Strough (West Virginia University, US) and Dr Caezilia Loibl (Ohio-State University, US) at the Centre for Decision Research
Barbara Summers has been asked by to be a member of the Steering Committee for the NIHR funded project entitled "Evaluation of Patient Preferences for and Cost Effectiveness of Community IV Antibiotic Services" which is headed by Dr Jane Minton, Consultant in Infectious Diseases for Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust. The project is largely based in LIHS, but with other contributors in the university and clinicians from Leeds and Bradford.
John Maule and Barbara Summers contributed material to, and were quoted in, an article “How to Sharpen Your Intuition” by Scott Beagrie in Edge magazine, which is published by the Institute for Leadership and Management
Wändi Bruine de Bruin has been appointed as Visiting Professor at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, with the goal of helping to design their new national consumer survey on inflation expectations
Wändi Bruine de Bruin was interviewed for an article on better decision making in Top Sante Magazine's February issue
Wändi Bruine de Bruin was invited to join editorial board of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied (4* on ABS list)
In January Wändi Bruine de Bruin was invited to speak at the International Risk Governance International Workshop on "From Crisis Management to Risk Governance" in Beijing, China
Wändi Bruine de Bruin was invited to join the Scientific and Technical Council of the International Risk Governance Council, which provides evidence-based advice about risk governance and risk communication to international policy makers and has consultancy status at the United Nations
In December, Wändi Bruine de Bruin gave an invited presentation on the role of risk perception in risk management for an international audience of policy makers at annual High Level Risk Forum meeting of the Organization for Economic Co-Operation on "From Assessment to Management: Using National Risk Assessment to develop Risk Management Capabilities at the Country Level" in Paris, France.
Wändi Bruine de Bruin was selected to design a survey module for the US national survey of RAND's American Life Panel on the effect of the US election outcome on people's emotions and economic expectations
Wändi Bruine de Bruin was promoted to a leadership chair at the Leeds University Business School
CDR had a presence at the annual meeting of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making held in Minneapolis (MN), USA. Wändi Bruine de Bruin served on the programme committee for the conference and Barbara Summers was a judge in the Best Student Poster competition. CDR members were also involved in 5 pieces of research presented at the conference:
- Getting Older Isn’t All That Bad: Better coping skills and sunk costs
Bruine de Bruin, Wändi (Carnegie Mellon University, Leeds University Business School); Parker, Andrew (RAND Corporation); Strough, JoNell (West Virginia University)
- The Multifold Relationship Between Memory and Decision Making: An individual-differences study
Del Missier, Fabio (University of Trieste); Bruine de Bruin, Wändi (Leeds University Business School and CMU); Nilsson, Lars-Göran (University of Stockholm); Parker, Andy (RAND Corporation); Mäntylä, Timo (University of Stockholm)
- Responses to Educational Communications Among Recipients With Opposing Beliefs
Gabrielle Wong-Parodi (Carnegie Mellon University); Bruine de Bruin, Wändi (Carnegie Mellon University, Leeds University Business School)
- Testing the Added Value of Components Within Decision Aid Interventions to Enable Informed Decision Making About Dialysis Treatment Options
Gavaruzzi, Teresa (LIHS, University of Leeds; DiSCOG, University of Padova ); Bekker, Hilary L. (LIHS, University of Leeds (UK)); Summers, Barbara (LUBS, University of Leeds (UK)); Winterbottom, Anna E. (LIHS, University of Leeds (UK)); Stiggelbout, Anne (Leiden Medical School (The Netherlands)); Mooney, Andrew; Latchford, Gary; Wilkie, Martin on behalf of the Yorkshire Dialysis Decision Aid (YoDDA) research team
- The Narrow Interpretation Conjecture Meets the Planning Fallacy
Hadjichristidis, Constantinos (University of Trento); Summers, Barbara (University of Leeds); Thomas, Kevin (Bournemouth University)
John Maule was quoted in the Daily Mail on 23rd October in an article on how grumpiness and other emotions affect thinking and decision making (“You make fewer mistakes and are better at communicating: Why being a grump can be GOOD for you”). The article is online here:
This was followed up by interviews on BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Teeside.
Wändi Bruine de Bruin has edited a special issue of the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making on the topic of "individual differences in decision-making competence." The special issues is online at: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/bdm.v25.4/issuetoc
CDR welcomes Danielle Winstanley, who is joining us on a Collaborative PhD Studentship with OMD UK which provides media communications solutions across all traditional and new media. Danielle’s academic background consists of a Bsc (Hons) Degree in Psychology from the University of Salford and a Mres Psychology Degree from the University of Bolton. Danielle’s PhD is using experimental investigations to understand the relationship between product, individual processing preference and response to advertising through presenting product information using a cognitive versus affective approach
In September Wändi Bruine de Bruin addressed an international audience of policy makers, practitioners, and researchers about the important role of risk communication in effective risk management at the International Risk Governance Council's expert workshop on "Public Sector Governance of Emerging Risks" in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Wändi Bruine de Bruin, Alan Pearman and Andrea Taylor are part of a research team from the University of Leeds and led by AEA, the international energy and climate change consultancy, recently selected to undertake the PREPARE (Programme of Research on Preparedness, Adaptation, Risk) study for Defra to support the UK Government in developing its strategy on climate adaptation policy.
Alan Pearman was one of a group of international experts invited by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe to contribute to its Inland Transport Committee’s 2011-12 review of transport trends and economics, which has now been published.
Alan Pearman has been appointed Vice-Chair in the European Commission Research Executive Agency’s panel of experts responsible for evaluation of research proposals made under the Marie Curie Career Integration Grant scheme.
Wändi Bruine de Bruin was interviewed by Slate magazine on order effects in Olympic gymnastics judging (e.g. "Did Olympic gymnast Jordyn Wieber perform too soon?).
For article: http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/explainer/2012/07/olympic_gymnast_jordyn_wieber_upset_scoring_bias_favors_late_performers_.html
Wändi Bruine de Bruin addressed an international audience of policy makers, practitioners and researchers at the prestigious Sackler Colloquium of the US National Academy of Sciences on the topic of "The Science of Science Communication." She was also invited to submit a paper for the special issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on this topic.
For video see here: http://events.tvworldwide.com/Events/NAS120521.aspx
CDR welcomes Dr. Xie Naiming who is taking a Visiting Research Fellow position with the Centre for 1 year from 1st September. He joins us from Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (China), where he still holds an associate professor position in the College of Economics and Management. He has a PH.D in Management Science and Engineering from Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (China). His research interests include grey system theory, uncertainty forecasting and decision-making, post-evaluation of projects, energy management and cost control. His research aims to construct novel models to help people grasp systematic trends and make more effective decisions, especially when they can know only incomplete information, in economic and other systems. His research programs were twice supported by the National Science Foundation of China (NSFC) and once jointly supported by NSFC and the Royal Society of UK. He is the editor-assistant of Grey System: Theory and Application (A new international journal).
CDR welcomes Matthew Hardy, who is joining us on a LUBS Research Internship. Matthew recently caught the behavioural economics bug in Universitaet Mannheim, Germany, while studying there during his study abroad year as part of an Economic and Philosophy BA (International) Degree course. His interests are still very broad however he has a particular interest in how beliefs are formed, and applying behavioural economic theory in solving everyday human problems.
Barbara Summers, with support from Darren Duxbury, John Maule and Alan Pearman is providing input to research into communication about pensions being run by TNS-BMRB and NEST.
CDR welcomes Wändi Bruine de Bruin, who will be taking the position as Chair of Behavioural Decision Research in September. She will be joining us from Carnegie Mellon University (USA), where she still holds a position in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy. She has a Ph.D. in Behavioral Decision Theory and Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University (USA) and an M.Sc. in Cognitive Psychology from the Free University of Amsterdam (the Netherlands). Her research interests include individual differences in decision-making competence across the life span, risk perception and communication, financial decision making, health decision making, and environmental decision making. Her research aims to understand how people make decisions about the risks affecting their health and finances, how to develop communications to improve those decisions, and how people vary in their abilities to make decisions. She has recently edited a special issue on decision-making competence for the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, for which she also serves on the editorial board. She has published in peer-reviewed journals in multiple disciplines, including psychology, environmental science, economics, and public health. She has contributed her expertise to advisory panels and workshops organized by various organizations, including the U.S. Centers of Disease Control, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Dutch Central Bank, and the U.S. National Research Council.
Barbara Summers gave a Keynote Speech about emotions and decision making at the conference Regulation and Responsibility: Analysing Behaviour in a Business Environment, held at the Open University on 12th January 2012.
CDR welcomes Andrea Taylor, who is working with us as a post-doctoral researcher. Andrea has recently completed her PhD at the University of Bolton, where she investigated the influence of numeracy and affect on adherence to rational choice principles in decisions under risk. Coming from a cognitive psychology background, her research interests include numeracy and choice, the role of emotion in decision making, information processing in decisions under risk and uncertainty and decisions regarding personal finance.
John Maule is one of those commenting in the Sunday Telegraph article “EU treaty: the tactics designed to wear David Cameron down” (11/12/11), which discusses negotiating at the recent EU Summit.
The Knowledge Transfer Partnership completed by Klaus Schenk-Hoppé (Accounting & Finance Division) and Barbara Summers with Clydesdale Bank (“To develop and implement Customer Lifetime Value measures to support the decision making processes around customer product offerings and the service proposition”, Associate - Alena Audzeyeva) has received ESRC award for 'Best Application of Social Science in a KTP 2011'.
The application of Customer Lifetime Value models marks a major shift to a customer-focused rather than product-focused approach to the customer relationship. Groups of customers with similar characteristics and needs can be distinguished, and provided with information and product offerings that are focused on their needs. This deeper understanding of customers allows the Bank to respond in a more tailored way to customers, building direct mail and call centre campaigns around the most appropriate communications for each customer, rather than giving everyone the same message.
“Choosing to do the project as a KTP allowed us to search for an innovative solution and gave us the luxury of accessing the academic skills we didn’t possess. Not only did it resolve a business
need, it strengthened the relationship with the University and was
personally rewarding for all those involved in the project.”
Lucy Marshall, Clydesdale Bank plc.
Alan Pearman recently served again in Brussels as an Evaluator with the European Commission Research Executive Agency, working on the Career Integration Grant stream of the Marie Curie FP-PEOPLE programme.
Alan Pearman was recently appointed to serve as a reviewer for the Danish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education Council for Strategic Research’s Programme Committee on Transport and Infrastructure.
Alan Pearman recently attended the latest meeting of the Electricity Working Group of the European Commission’s North-South Interconnections in Central-Eastern Europe project. Held at the Ministry of Economy in Warsaw and opened by the Deputy Minister, Alan’s presentation to the meeting concerned the multi-criteria analysis developed and applied to rank proposals for investment put forward by the ten countries concerned.
Abdulrahman Alkhorayef and Alan Pearman presented a paper, A Decision Research Perspective on the Management of Megaprojects, at the 53rd Annual Conference of the Operational Research Society, held at the University of Nottingham, from 6th – 8th. September 2011.
Barbara Summers is to be on the Scientific Committee for the SPUDM 24 Conference in Barcelona in 2013. SPUDM (Subjective Probability, Utility and Decision Making) is the conference of the European Association for Decision Making (EADM).
The Centre for Decision Research, jointly with the AIMTech Research Group in LUBS, recently hosted a very successful visit from Professor Chun-wei Choo of the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto. Professor Choo presented a research seminar: Risky Decisions: Information and the enactment of meaning, knowledge and decisions, attended by a wide range of researchers from across the University. He also ran a workshop for PhD students on publication strategies for young researchers (see photo). During his visit, a number of potential research collaborations were discussed linking information behaviour, sense-making and decision making.
Alan Pearman is leading the Leeds input to a European Commission financed research project, Market Analysis and Priorities for Future Development of the Electricity Market and Infrastructure in Central-Eastern Europe under the North-South Energy Interconnections Initiative. The project is led by the Milan office of PricewaterhouseCoopers, with Leeds inputting to the analysis and evaluation of potential new cross-border connections.
Barbara Summers was a panelist for the discussion at the NEST/TUC event Reactions to volatility and loss: The potential impact of loss aversion on 19th July in London. NEST is the new national, low-cost pension scheme set up by the Pensions Act 2008, which can be used by employers in fulfilling their duties under the Act. This event presented research by Opinion Leader (to which Barbara contributed) and DCisions on reactions to investment loss in a pension context and considered its implications for NEST.
Alan Pearman chaired a session at the 19th Triennial Conference of the International Federation of Operational Research Societies (INFORS), held in Melbourne from 10th – 15th July. He also presented a paper, Stakeholder Preference Mapping – helping understand how to process spent nuclear fuel. Co-authors were Grace McGlynn and Gregg Butler of Integrated Decision Management.
CDR welcomes Omair Jamal, who is joining us on a LUBS Research Internship. Omair has just finished his second year of a BSc in Economics and Management at Leeds University Business School. During his time here Omair is working with members of the Centre on a project exploring the impact of ‘nudge’ strategies in financial decisions such as pension saving. These strategies are based on work by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein reviewed in their book: “Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness”.
Barbara Summers has been elected as Member at Large on the Executive Board of the European Association for Decision Making (EADM) for the period 2011-2013.
David Allen and Alan Pearman recently hosted a joint AIMTech/Centre for Decision Research visit from Kees Nieuwenhuis and Sorin Iacob from Thales Nederland BV and the D-CIS laboratory in Delft.
D-CIS is a partnership involving, among others, Thales Nederland, Delft University of Technology, the University of Amsterdam and the University of Tilburg. Drs Nieuwenhuis and Iacob are both also visiting members of staff in Leeds University Business School. With operations in 50 countries and 68,000 employees, Thales is a world leader in mission-critical information systems for defence and security, aerospace and transportation.
During the three-day visit to Leeds, a number of potential avenues for research collaboration were explored. In September 2011, a joint seminar will be organised, bringing together individuals from organisations with a shared interest in the impact of cognitive bias on the analysis of intelligence information in various settings.
CDR will be presenting 5 studies at SPUDM, the major European conference for decision making, taking place in August. The work applies decision research in a number of areas as well as exploring decision making per se. The studies are:
- Identifying components of decision aid interventions that enable informed decision making about dialysis modality.
Teresa Gavaruzzi, Barbara Summers., Gary Latchford., Andrew Mooney, Anne Stiggelbout, Martin Wilkie, Anna Winterbottom, Hilary Bekker.
- Information use and decision making by Silver Commanders in the Emergency Services
Jyoti Mishra, David Allen and Alan Pearman
- Framing effects and cognitive reflection
Darren Duxbury, Barbara Summers and Santiago Garcia Rodriguez
- Visualization cognitive style, numeracy and decision making
Santiago Garcia Rodriguez, Barbara Summers, Darren Duxbury
- Influences on the ethical reasoning of tax tractitioners: Exploring the individual, the context and professional socialization
Elaine Doyle, Jane Frecknall-Hughes, and Barbara Summers
The fulltime Leeds MBA 2010-11 cohort and students on the Executive Programme attended the three day Management Decision Making optional module of their programme 4th-6th April, delivered by Barbara Summers, Alan Pearman and Nicola Bown from CDR. Students also benefitted from the input of guest speaker, Richard Bartholomew, Head of Risk Management, EMEA, Northern Trust, who gave a fascinating insight into risk management and communication in Northern Trust during the recent economic climate.
In March, Nicola Bown gave an invited presentation to Ilkley Business Forum on “Understanding and Improving Human Judgment and Decision Making” at their monthly meeting. The audience was made up about 30 owners/directors of SMEs in the West and North Yorkshire Region.
From 13th – 17th December 2010, Alan Pearman served as one of six members of the international review panel, commissioned to evaluate the research strategy and performance of the Department of Transport at the Danish Technical University.
John Maule gave a keynote address to the Financial Services Research Forum Autumn Seminar, Central Hall, Westminster, London: November 2010. The title of his talk was ‘Mind over money matters: how mental accounting affects financial choice’.
Between 25th and 29th October, Alan Pearman served in Brussels as an Evaluator for the European Commission Research Executive Agency for the FP-PEOPLE programme, assessing the current round of applications for funding under the Marie Curie International and European Reintegration grants.
CDR welcomes Abdulrahman Alkhorayef who joins us to study for his PhD. Abdulrahman’s general research interest lies in decision making about very large scale investment projects (“mega-projects”). Why do a substantial proportion of such projects significantly over-run on time and/or cost and sometimes fail to deliver the expected return on their investment? Are there particular elements of the decision making about such projects that can be identified and undertaken better?
Abdulrahman's academic background consists of an honours Bachelors degree in Business Administration (2007) from Al-Imam Mohammed Ibn Saud Islamic University (IMAMU) Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; also, he obtained a Master of Business Administration (Decision Making and Management Consultancy) (2010) from Leeds University Business School. During his studies, he has awarded IMAMU’s Prize for superior students (2005, 2006 and 2007) and in 2010, he was awarded a research excellence prize from the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in London. Abdulrahman’s academic career has been as a Teacher Assistant in the College of Economics and Administrative Sciences at IMAMU for three years. He has also worked with various non-profit organisations in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates since 1997.
In October, Nicola Bown ran a one day masterclass ("Understanding and Improving Decision Making) for senior officers of the Scottish Prison Service, held at the Scottish Prison Service College, Polmont.
Delegates were introduced to the large body of research on the thinking and reasoning processes that underlie human decision making, to demonstrate how these can, on occasions, lead to errors that can affect the quality of decision making. Delegates considered ways of overcoming these negative effects by improving thinking and reasoning and the use of structured approaches to decision aiding, and considered the implications of these issues for their decision making in prison contexts
Alan Pearman acted as joint chair of the Ex-Post Evaluation Conference on the Impacts of the Transport Projects funded under the EU Framework 5 and Framework 6 programmes, held in Brussels in September 2010.
CDR welcomes Mark Houghton, joined Leeds University Business School this September to study part time for his PhD. Mark's research is investigating the roles mental representations play in our judgments and decisions, in particular the possibility of characteristics of our mental representations of magnitude explaining some of our heuristics and biases.
Mark is an independent consultant living in Bournemouth but working internationally in organisation design and development. Marks interest in mental representations was sparked whilst working with foreign exchange and commodity traders when he noticed them making multiple references to mental representations of their profit and loss accounts.
CDR welcomes Teresa Gavaruzzi, who is joining us as a Research Fellow working on the project 'Identifying components of decision aid interventions that enable informed decision making about dialysis modality', led by Hilary Bekker (CDR/ Leeds Institute of Health Sciences). This project involves a team of experts that also includes Barbara Summers.
Teresa recently received her PhD in Psychology - Cognitive Sciences from the University of Padova, Italy, and during her study she also spent a period visiting the Center for Behavioral and Decision Sciences of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (USA), supervised by Angie Fagerlin. Her interests include: the study of judgment and decision making from a cognitive perspective specifically but not limited to the health and medical domain; factors affecting patients’ decision making; risk communication and risk perception.
CDR welcomes Dana Brhelova, who is joining us as a Visiting Research Assistant during the summer. Dana is studying for her Master's in Psychology at Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic. In her master's thesis she deals with a neuropsychological task called the Iowa Gambling Task which simulates real life decision making. Within this task she focuses on decision making strategies, switching between presented choices and how decision making relates to personal characteristics. During her time here Dana is working with Barbara Summers, Darren Duxbury and John Maule on a project exploring the impact of defaults on responses to outcomes in the context of the status quo bias.
Elaine Doyle has received the award for the Best Student Paper at the AAA (American Accounting Association) Ethics Symposium for 2010. Her paper addresses the following issues: the impact of the tax context on cognitive moral reasoning; the potential for the tax profession to be attractive to people for whom a particular level of moral reasoning predominates; and the training/socialisation of practitioners in their professional context.
Professor John Maule had a letter published in The Independent on 16/8/10, “Nudge theory is only short term”. The text is online at http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/letters/letters-the-hs2-project-2053404.html (4th heading on page)
Dr Barbara Summers, Professor Alan Pearman, Dr Darren Duxbury, Professor John Maule and Dr Nicola Bown are currently doing work with global media agency OMD on insights from decision research literature into understanding decision making in the shopping occasion
Yanan Feng has been awarded ‘The 2009 Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-financed Students Abroad’, which is China's most prestigious award for overseas students. The Chinese Scholarship Council selected 35 students from the UK this year and of these, two come from Leeds.
These awards, which started in 2003, recognise outstanding Chinese students undertaking full-time research abroad leading to a PhD in all areas of study. The applications for the award came from more than 29 countries all over the world. Award winners were from a range of disciplines, including arts, science, engineering, medicine, and business. Each winner received a $5,000 cash prize and a certificate, The Award ceremony was held on 4th May 2010 at Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in London.
Hilary Bekker (CDR/ Leeds Institute of Health Sciences) has been awarded a grant by the Foundation for Informed Decision Making, based in the USA. The research will investigate the effectiveness of different components of decision aids in terms of facilitating informed decision making using a patient decision context (decisions about dialysis in kidney patients), and thus makes an important contribution to both theory and the practical application of decision aids. Barbara Summers (CDR/ LUBS) is a co-investigator on the project along with Anne Stiggelbout (Professor in Medical Decision Making, University of Leiden), Anna Winterbottom (Senior Research Fellow, Bradford Royal Infirmary), Andrew Mooney (Consultant Nephrologist, St James’s University Hospital), Gary Latchford (Consultant Clinical Psychologist, St James’s University Hospital), and Martin Wilkie (Consultant Nephrologist, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust).
Rob Ranyard, Darren Duxbury and Barbara Summers were members of the organizing committee of a successful workshop Economic Psychology: New Methods and Findings, hosted by the Economic Psychology and Decision Research Group at the University of Bolton in late March. The workshop was sponsored by ICABEEP, a confederation of the International Association for
Research into Economic Psychology (IAREP) and the Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Economics (SABE). Details of the programme, the abstracts booklet and written versions of the keynote addresses can be found on the workshop website: http://www.bolton.ac.uk/conferences/economicpsychology/.
Elaine Doyle, supervised by Professor Jane Frecknall Hughes (Open University), Professor Ron Hodges (University of Sheffield) and Dr Barbara Summers (CDR), passed the viva examination for her PhD in February 2010. Elaine’s thesis, which was entitled “An Empirical Analysis of the Ethical Reasoning Process of Tax Practitioners”, looked to address some of the gaps in the literature in this area by investigating the perception of ethics within the tax profession via semi-structured interviews with tax practitioners and also using a customised version of Rest’s Defining Issues Test alongside the original instrument to compare the ethical reasoning of tax practitioners and non specialists in both the social and tax contexts. She found that, while the cognitive moral development of individuals entering the tax profession is not significantly different from society at large, tax practitioners use much lower levels of moral reasoning in a work context than in a social one.
A Knowledge Transfer Partnership recently completed by Professor Klaus Schenk-Hoppé (Accounting & Finance Division) and Dr Barbara Summers with Yorkshire Bank (“To develop and implement Customer Lifetime Value measures to support the decision making processes around customer product offerings and the service proposition”, Associate - Alena Audzeyeva) has received an “outstanding” grading from the KTP Grading Panel and was awarded a KTP Certificate of Excellence.
On 17th December Professor John Maule was interviewed by James Cowling on the BBC World Service programme “The World Today”. John commented on how the negotiations and decisions taken by delegates at the Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen were likely to be affected by time pressure. This is particularly important over the next couple of days as the deadline for agreement gets closer and time pressure mounts. John noted that delegate's thinking is likely to get simpler, more narrowly focused and less creative - all of which is likely to reduce the effectiveness of the decision taken.
Yanan Feng supervised by Dr Nicola Bown (CDR) and Professor Chris Allinson, passed the viva examination for her PhD in November 2009. Her thesis was entitled "Group decision making in a cross-cultural context: A comparison between Great Britain and China".
CDR welcomes Santiago Garcia who joins us to study for his PhD. Santiago’s general research interest lies in the interaction of affect and cognition in the decision making process. He is looking to investigate the processes whereby consumers interpret numerical information and how that impacts their affective evaluation of the task or product at hand, ultimately leading to a decision.
Santiago's academic background consists of an honours Bachelors degree in Social Psychology (Summa cum Laude) from the University of Oregon, where he also obtained a Masters of Science in Psychology (Decision Making). During his academic career Santiago was affiliated to Decision Research Institute (Eugene, OR, USA), a research organization investigating human judgment, decision-making, and risk with the aim of helping individuals and organizations understand and cope with the complex and often risky decisions of modern life. Santiago comes with industry experience from both public and private sector organizations. During the past three years he has worked in Belgium and Germany securing partnerships between international universities, corporations and government bodies.
The Centre for Decision Research and the International Institute for Banking and Financial Services have been successful in a bid to be included in the Office of Fair Trading Research Services Framework, which will run from 1 November 2009 to 31st October 2013. This is an important achievement, as under the EU Procurement Directive only organisations participating in the Framework will be invited to submit tenders for future research.
The Centre for Decision Research is providing input to research into attitudes to loss being run by Opinion Leader and PADA.
Along with former member of the CDR Merce Roca, John Maule has an article published in the latest edition of Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes entitled "Demand for probabilistic information and the effects of endowment". In addition, his book "Decision behaviour, analysis and support", written jointly with Simon French and Nadia Papamichail (Manchester Business School) was published by Cambridge University Press on August 1st 2009. In late June he also gave an invited keynote address to the 9th International Conference on Naturalistic Decision Making entitled "Can computers overcome limitations in human decision making?"
After a successful joint bid the Centre for Decision Research and the International Institute for Banking and Financial Services have been included in the Department for Work and Pensions Social and Economic Research Framework, which will run from 1 July 2009 for an initial period of 2 years (with a possible 2 year extension). This is an important achievement, as under the EU Procurement Directive only organisations participating in the Framework will be invited to submit tenders for future research commissioned by the DWP and HMRC.
Darren Duxbury, Rob Ranyard and Barbara Summers are co-authors (with colleagues from Italy) of a paper on perceptions of price changes and inflation, which has been awarded a highly prestigious Citation of Excellence award as one of the top papers of 2008 by Emerald Management Reviews. There are 50 awards per year (out of 15,000 papers reviewed) and awards include publications in such journals as American Economic Review, Strategic Management Journal and Journal of Finance. The paper is informing discussion in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Elisa Barilli, our Visiting Research Assistant from the University of Trento (Italy) has been awarded the EU- funded grant "Erasmus Mobility for Placements Action" dedicated to graduate and PhD students for internships in European companies or organisations. Elisa will undertake her four-month traineeship at the CDR from April to July 2009 under the supervision of Dr Barbara Summers and Professor John Maule. During the internship she will develop research skills, along with the associated analytical and administrative academic abilities, which will provide a sound basis for the development of her future career as a researcher and research leader.
Professor John Maule appeared on the Horizon documentary "How to survive a disaster", broadcast on 10th March 2009 on BBC2, contributing insights on risk perception.
Purva Abhyankar, supervised by Dr Hilary Bekker and Dr Barbara Summers of CDR, passed the viva examination for her PhD in November 2008. Purva's thesis, which was entitled "Decision making about cancer treatment and clinical trial participation", explored the process of decision making on cancer trial participation with patients, and investigated the impacts of decision framing and values clarification on decision outcomes using experimental approaches. She found that informed decision making about trial participation can be enhanced by presenting the decision as an explicit choice between alternatives, providing full information prior to eliciting preferences, and using an explicit values clarification technique.
Professor Alan Pearman is leading the Leeds input to the 2 million euro TEN-connect project. This work, being undertaken for the Energy and Transport Directorate of the European Commission, is aimed at developing traffic flow forecasts for all the Trans-European transport networks and at recommending an assessment methodology to allow competing proposals for investment to be compared. Leeds is taking prime responsibility for this latter element, which incorporates both conventional cost-benefit analysis and a multi-criteria evaluation module, building on previous research carried out through CDR in conjunction with the Institute for Transport Studies.
Dr Barbara Summers, Dr Darren Duxbury, Professor John Maule and Professor Alan Pearman are currently doing work with the Department of Work and Pensions as part of the department's Auto-enrolment Project, which aims to encourage pension saving in the UK. Under auto-enrolment schemes people who enter into qualifying employment are automatically enrolled into a pension scheme (although they can choose to opt out). This approach has been found to increase pension saving in other contexts (such as US companies). The DWP commissioned survey work to investigate consumer attitudes to pensions and the auto-enrolment concept, and to look at consumer behaviour in relation to retirement saving, with CDR members acting in an expert advisory role. CDR offered advice to shape the questionnaire used and the subsequent analysis. More recently CDR has drawn on relevant research in decision science and related disciplines to highlight issues that would benefit from more in-depth investigation, helping to better understand individuals' motivations, attitudes and behaviours with respect to pension saving.
CDR welcomes Elisa Barilli, who is joining us as a Visiting Research Assistant. Elisa is studying for her PhD in Cognitive Sciences and Education at the University of Trento, Italy, and is doing research into the perception of mathematically equivalent probability formats - particularly fractions - from a cognitive perspective. Experts dealing with risk communication in the healthcare domain could benefit from the results of her work, gaining insight into the differences in patients' perceptions of risk arising from the format chosen to convey outcome uncertainty. Moreover, the results could also be applied in advertising, where the type of numerical expressions used to convey information can alter consumer perceptions of gains and losses.
Professor John Maule gave the opening address at the Information Security Forum's 19th Annual World Congress in the Palau de Congressos de Catalunya, Barcelona Spain (16 - 18 November 2008). His presentation outlined reasons why experienced security professionals often misperceive the risks to computer systems and how this can lead organisations to under-protect against some threats and over-protect against others, In addition, he considered why users of computer systems also misperceive the risks of their actions, how this can expose these systems to internal and external threats and how to facilitate better security awareness in this group of individuals.