Welcome to the Decision Processes Lab!

“Understanding the cognitive processes underlying human judgment and decision-making is fundamental to developing decision-support technologies.”

The Decision Processes Lab, directed by Dr. Rick Thomas, utilizes a range of experimental methodologies and computational techniques to investigate decision-making phenomena. Much of our work stems from leveraging computational frameworks from cognitive science to generate testable predictions of human behavior. Specifically, the lab has worked extensively to expand and evaluate the HyGene (Hypothesis Generation) model–a process account for how people generate and maintain explanations for their observations, and how consideration of those explanations serves probability judgment and information foraging (see the HyGene tab of this web application for an interactive overview of the model).

Another avenue of our 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 professionals generate hypotheses in complex and dynamic environments. 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.