Kelli Johnson & Christian Luhmann:
Epistemic Uncertainty Explains Seemingly Maladaptive Behavioral Findings

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Researchers studying decision making often present subjects with numerical information and assume (sometimes implicitly) that such information is perceived as precise. We discuss the possibility that decision makers treat all numerical information as estimates, which are subject to sampling error. Such an assumption can explain, and even justify, seemingly maladaptive behavioral phenomena. Behavioral evidence, and opportunities for improving decision making in medical contexts, are discussed.

Dr. Kelli Johnson recently received her PhD in Cognitive Science from Stony Brook University where she studied decision making using a combination of behavioral and computational methods. She is now a postdoctoral researcher in the Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering at Cornell University, and works on tools for medical decision making.

Professor Christian Luhmann is an Associate Professor of Cognitive Science at Stony Brook University in the Department of Psychology and Institute for Advanced Computational Science. His research interests include: decision making, learning and computational modeling.