“Some things happen of necessity, others by chance, others through our own agency.
For he sees that necessity destroys responsibility and that chance is inconstant;
whereas our own actions are autonomous, and it is to them that praise and blame naturally attach”
— Epicurus allegedly discovers the free will problem and links free will to accountability (Letter to Menoeceus, ~3rd century BC)
My work is in the areas of social-cognitive-personality psychology and behavioral decision making, with a touch of experimental philosophy.
My research mainly focuses on the following topics :
- Biases and heuristics regarding agency and action.
- Unethical behavior and morality.
- The belief in free will. Folk psychology and lay-beliefs more broadly.
- Personal values (long-term desirable motivational goals).
Put simply, I’m interested in why people believe what they believe, value what they value, and make decisions and choices in the way that they do.
Recommended videos on research interests
Studying “free will” scientifically:
Studying ethical behavior (dishonesty)
Experimental Philosophy with/versus Decision-making
Replication / reproducibility crisis
I support the Open Science movement, and recommend any scholar in any discipline to educate themselves about the advances in science, problems and solutions. Here are some quick simplified videos to get you up to date on the problems as of 2016. I try to keep track of articles on my WIKI.
Recommended online courses:
- Improving your statistical inferences | Coursera, by Daniel Lakens
- Calling Bullshit: Data Reasoning for the Digital Age
Some have asked me what books I recommend.
In my field:
- The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis : the tales of Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky and the academia on the bridge between psychology and economics and beyond. A fascinating read, brief mention of key theories and developments. A rare glimpse at the inner workings of academia, collaborations, and the psychology fields.
- Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics by Richard Thaler : Richard Thaler lays out behavioral economics and his and others’ research on the bridge between psychology and economics. Richard won the Noble prize for economics in 2017. Some of the tales entertaining, fairly simple language, but some chapters go deep into economics jargon.
- Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely (a bit outdated, especially given the “crisis” but insightful and entertaining)
- The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone-Especially Ourselves by Dan Ariely (a bit outdated, especially given the “crisis” but insightful and entertaining), you might also want to check out the 2015 movie – (Dis)Honesty: The Truth About Lies
- Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman: an important read in the field, summarizes key findings, even if sometimes a bit too straightforward and aimed more at academics than laypersons. Daniel won the Noble prize for economics in 2002. (a bit outdated, especially given the “crisis”, I would skip the priming chapter)
Far beyond the field, but important reads, with implications for psychology: