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

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



Justin Sukernek

B.S. Cognitive Brain Science, Philosophy, Tufts University
Research interests: Bayesian truth serum, collaboration, social influence
Bio: Justin grew up in Wayland, Massachusetts, before moving to Mercer Island, Washington, before moving back to the Boston area for undergrad.  Justin’s interest in decision-making flourished while exploring the different subdivisions of psychology at Tufts, including a stint watching a cockatoo dance to pop music.  Now, he spends all his time thinking about things and stuff.
website Web page
scholar Curriculum Vitae


research assistants



Sara Volk

Major: Psychology



Sarah Ogletree

Major: Psychology



Tyler Knight

Major: Psychology




Nick Lange, Ph.D.


Graduated: 2011, University of Oklahoma

Current: Facebook

Dan Buttaccio, Ph.D.


Graduated: 2013, University of Oklahoma

Current: Battelle

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

Ashley Lawrence, Ph.D.


Graduated: 2018, Georgia Institute of Technology


Christopher Monroe, M.A.

Graduated: 2019, Georgia Institute of Technology

Current: U.S. Army

David Illingworth, Ph.D.


Graduated: 2019, Georgia Institute of Technology

Current: University of Maryland








lab photos