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Research Topics

Cognitive Process Models

Do we, as scientific community, actually agree about what constitutes a process model? We developed a practical framework for eveyone developing process models specifying the necessary characteristics of cognitive process models (in collaboration with Jolene H. Tan, and Mirjam A. Jenny; both Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin)

 icon_swiss-army-knifeCognition in Evolutionary Contexts

Human behavior changes across contexts like family, health, or job situations. I measure and model whether the aspects of situations determine our attitudes towards risk; specifically how our attitudes change across ten evolutionary domains. Together with Andreas Wilke (Clarkson University, NY, USA), I ask which processes underly domain differences.

icon_customerHuman Preferences

People often state that they prefer one thing over the other. Whether these preferences are learned, constructed, discovered, or something completely different, is unclear. We ask: What is the cognitive process underlying preference formation? And we have a pretty neat idea (with Jörg Rieskamp at the University of Basel).

icon_shoppingHuman Classification

We do it every day: correctly classifying people, objects, words. What seems easy for humans is computationally very complex. Together with Jonathan D. Nelson and Björn Meder (both Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition, MPIB Berlin) I hypothesized and found that a relatively simple statistical principle called class-conditional independence (aka naive Bayes) describes human classification learning.

icon_atomHuman Problem Solving

Together with a team of Quantum Physicists led by Jacon Friis Sherson (Aarhus University, Denmark) I investigate how humans learn to solve complex physical problems. Our methods are dynamic movement path trajectory analysis and predictive modelling of success criteria in these games. Gamification is quite motivating for participants and more engaging, and we plan to combine it with lab experiments for more control.

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