Members of the Decision Processes Lab:

Members of the Decision Processes Lab:

lab director


Dr. Rick Thomas

B.A. University of Oklahoma
M.S. Psychology, Kansas State University
Ph.D. Psychology, Decision Science, Kansas State University
Research interests: The fundamental premise of my work is that computational models from cognitive psychology and cognitive science can be adapted to provide testable process models of decision-making phenomena and optimized to support the decision-making of professionals. I direct the Decision Processes Laboratory (DPL). The DPL utilizes a range of experimental methodologies (behavioral, eye-tracking, EEG) and computational techniques (statistical, mathematical, neural networks) to investigate decision-making phenomena. Much of our applied work concerns the study and measurement of expertise; primarily in the areas of performance evaluation and the development of decision support tools. One area of specialization is the development of computational models that describe how people, generate hypotheses to explain patterns of data, which is common in everyday problem solving; and it is the basis for decision-making in many disciplines, such as medical diagnosis, criminal investigation, intelligence sensemaking, software debugging, and scientific discovery. We also seek to optimize models of human hypothesis generation to serve as decision support tools to aid the diagnostic decision-making of professionals and to improve the robustness of existing applications of artificially intelligent classification systems.
 phone (404) 894-6066
website Web page
scholar Curriculum Vitae


graduate students


David Illingworth

B.A. Psychology, University of California, Merced
M.A. Experimental Psychology, California State University San Marcos
Research interests: Hypothesis testing, hypothesis generation, cognitive search, resource valuation
Bio: David grew up in Alhambra, California, where he honed his decision-making skills by optimizing his implementation of the eeny-meeny-miny-moe method. These days he has graduated to for everyday decisions, but relies heavily upon his friend Seth when things get tricky.
website Web page
scholar Curriculum Vitae



Ashley Lawrence-Huizenga

B.A. Psychology, Valparaiso University
M.S. Psychology, University of Oklahoma
Research interests: Cue generation, cue use, decision strategies
Bio: Ashley spent many long, cold winters in Michigan, studying decision-making in the game of Euchre. Frustrated with her Euchre partner’s terrible decision-making skills, she moved to a place where no one has even heard of the game. She now spends her time avoiding the hot weather by trying to teach her cats to play Euchre.
website Web page
scholar Curriculum Vitae


Malia Crane

B.A. Experimental Psychology, University of Alabama in Huntsville
M.S. Industrial-Organizational Psychology, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Research interests: Cognitive Ability, Work Performance, Complex Decision Making
Bio: Malia has spent nearly a decade in the southeastern college system despite being sensitive to heat, pollen, and <redacted>. She has a deep love for ducks and her pet snake Udon, hoping to one day combine these passions with her motorcycling obsession. Her veiled past involves a heavy emphasis on alternative measures of mental ability and work performance using computer simulations, results generally concluding that the smart people making, and taking, these tests would make excellent hires.
website Web page
scholar Curriculum Vitae


Sweta Parmar

B.Tech. Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar
Research interests: Visual behavior, Cognitive Workload and Human Performance, Decision-making in complex work environments
Bio: Sweta grew up in the excruciatingly hot Indian summers and as a result, is the only person in DPL who finds the southern winters unbearable. She has honed her engineering psychology skills by spending years studying cognitive load of operators in a control room environment and simultaneously increasing the cognitive load of all her friends. She loves talking to people and she loves spending time in isolation – a contradictory and moody nature that exemplifies her decision-making skills. Her love for chocolates has no limits and chocolate is the answer to every problem in her life.
website Web page
scholar Curriculum Vitae


Chris Monroe

B.S. Engineering Psychology, United States Military Academy
Research interests: Decision-making in extremis, Hypothesis generation, Finances!
Bio: Chris hails from the Best State in the South (Mississippi). He enjoys getting away from computers and into the great outdoors at any opportunity. Statistics excite him and his new CogPsych class frightens him. THE END
website Web page
scholar Curriculum Vitae

research assistants


Kara Matassino

Major: Psychology



Sevana Ohanian

Major: Psychology



Sara Volk

Major: Nuclear & Radiological Engineering



William Solomon

Major: Psychology



Danielle Stocks

Major: Psychology



Jancy Liu, B.A.

Major: Economics




Nick Lange, Ph.D.


Graduated: 2011, University of Oklahoma

Current: Facebook

Dan Buttaccio, Ph.D.


Graduated: 2013, University of Oklahoma

Current: University of Maryland

April Martin, Ph.D.


Graduated: 2014, University of Oklahoma

Current: Pacific Science and Engineering Group

Carolyn Hartzell, M.A.


Graduated: 2017, Georgia Institute of Technology

Current: Zoll


lab photos