Often, there is a gap between how we should make decisions and how we actually make decisions. Some believe that we are irrational or that we are emotional preventing us from making good decisions, while others believe that our cognitive capacity and abilities cannot cope well with the complexity of the world. At the Dynamic Decision Making Laboratory (DDMLab) we investigate how we make decisions in dynamic environments, and we aim at understanding and reducing this gap.
Dynamic environments are situations that involve change over time and while decisions are being made. Characteristics of dynamic environments challenge our ability to make "accurate" decisions including: interrelationships over time, feedback delays, workload, and uncertainty by events out of our control. But also characteristics of our cognition and psychological processes influence this ability. In dynamic environments, people must rely on their own experience to make decisions, in a way that we learn and adapt to decision situations as they develop. Our main research focus is on how we develop such experience and how we use it to make decisions.
At the DDMLab, we seek to build models to help explain, predict, and draw recommendations for improving decision making in dynamic environments. We use multiple research methods, but notably, we rely on laboratory experiments where we collect human choices using dynamic simulations (Decision Making Games) and on computational cognitive models based on Instance-Based Learning Theory (IBLT) and the ACT-R cognitive architecture to understand and predict choice.
The DDMLab was founded in 2002 by Prof. Cleotilde Gonzalez. Initially supported by a grant from the Army Research Laboratories (Advanced Decisions Architectures, Collaborative Technology Alliance), the DDMLab is a group fully funded by grants from research institutions such as National Science Foundation, Army Research Labs, Army Research Office, Defense Threat Reduction Agency and others. The laboratory is interdisciplinary, including post-docs and student from Behavioral Decision Research, Psychology, Engineering, and Computer Science.
July 17, 2014
Cleotilde (Coty) Gonzalez has been selected to serve on the Human Factors Committee of the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) within the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology.
July 16, 2014
NIST Names Members of Forensic Science Resource Committees: The Human Factors Committee will provide guidance throughout the OSAC on the influence of systems design on human performance and on ways to mitigate errors in complex tasks.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are part of a collaborative research alliance led by Penn State University that has been awarded a ten-year, $48.2 million collaboration by the Army Research Laboratory to develop a new science of how to make security-relevant decisions in cyberspace.