Dynamic Decision Making Laboratory
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In real life, we find many examples of 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, and 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. Many characteristics of dynamic environments challenge our ability to make decisions including: interrelationships over time, feedback delays, workload, and exogenous events out of our control. 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 and methods that 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 behavior 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 such behavior.

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 consists of a small but productive group of researchers from different fields, including Behavioral Decision Research, Psychology, Engineering, and Computer Science.

Click on the menu to learn more about our research projects, methods, tools, publications and people, or contact us for more information. Click here to download a copy of our current brochure.


The Dynamic Decision Making Laboratory is part of the Social and Decision Sciences DepartmentCarnegie Mellon University. For updates and comments, please email hauyuw@andrew.cmu.edu.