Current Members

Group photo, June 2017

Cleotilde (Coty) Gonzalez
Research Professor and Founding Director of the DDMLab

Coty is a Research Professor in the department of Social and Decision Sciences at CMU. She earned a Ph.D. in Management Information Systems from Texas Tech University in 1996.

Coty's research lies at the intersection of Human Behavioral Decision Making and Technology. Her research program is motivated by real-world decision making and by the challenges involved in studying dynamic decision making in the laboratory. Her research is embedded within a theoretical framework that emphasizes the role and development of decisions from experience, the similarity of contexts, and the cognitive abilities of decision makers.

office: Porter Hall 223C
e-mail: coty(at)
phone: 412-268-6242
fax: 412-268-6938

Efrat Aharonov, Ph.D
Post-Doctoral Fellow

Efrat completed her Ph.D. in the department of Psychology at Ben-Gurion University of Negev, Israel . Prior to joining the DDMLAB, Efrat was a postdoctoral fellow at the Technion . Her main research interests are decision-making in social contexts, decisions from experience, social learning, and social preferences.

office: 4609 Winthrop Street, 1st Floor Suite

Cristobal De La Maza Guzman
Ph.D. Student

Cristobal is currently a Ph.D. student at the Department of Engineering and Public Policy here at Carnegie Mellon University. He graduated from Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile in Santiago, Chile with a Bachelor's in civil industrial engineering. He previously worked for the Chilean Ministry for the Environment as both the head of their Department of Environmental Economics and the Division of Information and Environmental Economics. His research has focused on air quality, water rights, and green industries in Chile.

Germán Lenin Dugarte Peña
Visiting Ph.D. Student

Germán Lenin Dugarte Peña holds a BS in Systems Engineering from the University of Los Andes. He holds an MS in Computer Science and Technology and is currently pursuing a PhD in Computer Science and Technology at the Carlos III University in Madrid, where he is also a researcher and professor of the Computer Science Department, specifically working with the group SEL-Promise: Processes and Information Technology for the Systemic Governance of Intelligent Organizations.

His research interests include value-based software engineering, general software engineering, software process modelling and simulation, software economics, complex systems theory and practice, system dynamics, organization theory, societal computing, systems thinking and cybernetics.

Email: gdugarte(at)

David Hagmann
Ph.D. Student

David is a third year doctoral student in the Department of Social and Decision Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University, where he is advised by George Loewenstein. David's areas of interest include information avoidance, decisions under risk and uncertainty, intertemporal choice, pro-social behavior, and behavioral interventions (nudges). More broadly, he studies and conducts research in behavioral, experimental, and computational economics. David is particularly interested in how these fields can enrich one another and contribute to public policy.

David came to the United States from Switzerland in 2009 to pursue his undergraduate degree at Fordham University . He graduated from there summa cum laude with a major in Mathematics and Economics and a minor in Psychology. During his time in New York, he was a visiting student at Columbia and at New York University. He also spent a summer at the London School of Economics in the UK.

Emily Ho
Visiting Ph.D. Student

Emily is a visiting doctoral student from Fordham University’s Psychometrics and Quantitative Psychology program. She is broadly interested in how people communicate, interpret, and react to information and feedback, particularly around climate change.

In other decision-making work, she has developed new methods for improving uncertainty communication in climate change and intelligence analysis. Other projects have focused on developing a measure of information preferences across a variety of domains and examining people’s perceptions of tax policies when more benign alternatives exist. Psychometrically, she has derived visualization methods for small-sample test data, examined long-term effects of curriculum changes on standardized exam scores at the College Board, and critiqued brute-force cutoffs of clinical assessments in populations with high heterogeneity. Her work has appeared in Behavioral Science and Policy, Psychological Assessment, and forthcoming in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Climate Change.

office: 4609 Winthrop Street, 1st Floor Suite
Email: eho2(at)

Orsi Kovács
Research Associate

Orsi obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in International Business Economics with Specialization in Freight Forwarding and Logistics at Budapest Business School in Hungary. Her thesis focused on the Risk Factors of Global Supply Chain Management and Its Effects on the Import of Chinese Merchandise. Under her visitation period she works on supporting the DDM lab team in its daily operation and development. Her interests include memory effects, factors and conditions relevant to the decision of eyewitness identification. Prior to DDMLab Orsi volunteered at the Human Resources and Emergency Department of UPMC Shadyside Hospital.


Erin McCormick
Ph.D. Student

Erin is currently a doctoral student in the Department of Social and Decision Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University. She has interests in basic research about judgment, decision-making, problem-solving, and emotion, as well as applied work on behavior during emergencies.

In the Dynamic Decision Making Lab, she is currently working on a project about individual judgment and decision making in environments where the probability of an event occurring changes over time. In addition to the change detection project, she has worked on studies about the measurement and mitigation of cognitive biases (for example, the bias blind spot), survey methods to assess risk-taking propensity, and cognitive-loaded based lie detection methods. She received a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Harvard University in 2010.


Don Morrison
Senior Research Programmer

Don received his S.B. in Physics from M.I.T., and M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Utah. He works on software supporting researchers in the DDMLab and the Psychology Department's FMS Group. He previously worked in the HCII, and before that a variety of software companies. Outside of work, Don is obsessed with change ringing, an obscure art form that arose in Renaissance England and combines music, sport, and group theory.

office: WEH 4608
email: dfm2(at)

Prashanth Rajivan, Ph.D
Post-Doctoral Fellow

Prashanth obtained his PhD in Applied Cognitive Science from Arizona State University. He has his Master's and Bachelor's degree in computer science. Prior to DDMlab, Prashanth worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the School of Informatics at Indiana University Bloomington.His research interest includes human factors of security, usable security, Risk and Decision Making, CSCW and Cognitive modeling.

office: 4609 Winthrop Street, 1st Floor Suite
email: prajivan(at)

Sabina Sloman
Ph.D. Student

Sabina is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Social and Decision Sciences at Carnegie Mellon. She holds a B.A. in Economics (Honors) from McGill University.

Sabina is interested in the emergence of group-level constructs--in the feedback loop between individual experiences and the norms, institutions, and beliefs that emerge from and shape them. Her work at the Dynamic Decision Making Lab looks at the impact of network structure on collective problem-solving and role formation.


Nalyn Sriwattanakomen
Research Associate

Nalyn obtained her B.A. in Psychology at Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, PA. Her research prior to joining the lab has focused on issues affecting women, most notably the effects of sexist humor on attitudes and behaviors toward women. Her research interests include social factors that influence decision making, prejudice formation, educational interventions, and various facets of health psychology such as decision making surrounding end-of-life care.

office: 4609 Winthrop Street, 1st Floor Suite
Email: nsriwatt(at)