My research interests include: learning, reasoning, decision-making, causality, cognitive biases & heuristics, expertise, circadian rhythm/sleep, spaceflight, human factors, qualitative & quantitative analysis, and the meta-sciences.
A primary area of my research is how prior experiences, beliefs, and motivation affect learning, reasoning, and decision-making. My master's thesis at San José State University examined individual's ability to critically assess arguments with equivalent logical fallacies that either supported or opposed human-caused climate change. This project was published in Thinking & Reasoning. My master's thesis at the University of Pittsburgh examined how personal motivations affect our ability to learn cause-effect relationships in dynamic environments. This project was published in Cognitive Science.
Additionally, I have studied the development and maintenance of expertise, which was the topic of my comprehensive examination in my PhD program. This project involved conducting a literature review to examine the psychological factors that affect expertise in practicing physicians. This project, that was co-lead with several other scientists, has 5 manuscripts currently under review.
Prior to my doctoral work, I was a research associate within NASA's Human Systems Integretion Division, studying topics related to human performance. I examined questions like what factors reduce human performance and how to create environments and situations conducive to peak performance. One of the bigger projects I worked on within the Fatigue Countermeasures Laboratory involved producing recommendations for the sleep environments in future long-duration space missions.
In my dissertation research I am examining the psychology of collective decision-making and voting. More specifically, I am examining questions like: how well do individuals' understand how voting systems work? And, are voting system preferences consistent when comparing different ways of measuring preferences--one from intuitive choices in a behavioral task and the other from stated preferences after learning the names of different voting systems. I am also examining different interventions to teach people about voting system mechanisms as well as examining patterns of individual differences associated with preferring a given voting system.
Personal Hobbies & Interests
In my free hours I enjoy indulging in my many hobbies and interests including: music (listening, playing, concerts, audio gear), hockey, plants, learning about design, programming and statistics side-projects, baking sourdough bread, watching interviews & lectures on YouTube, podcasts, deep diving into seemingly random topics, and picking up new hobbies (my latest one is food fermentation).