Welcome to the
Dynamic Decision Making Laboratory

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.

We study how humans make choices, learn and use their experiences to make decisions in dynamic environments.

  • How does experience influence our decisions?
  • What kinds of experiences would produce better decisions and better adaptation?
  • How does experience transfer to new situations?

    We also study humans making decisions in a wide range of decision contexts that we bring to the laboratory in the form of dynamic simulations (MicroWorlds or DMGames)

  • How do operators of complex industrial plants make dynamic allocation of limited resources?
  • How luggage screeners at the airport can be more successful at detecting possible threatening targets?
  • How cyber-security analysts may improve their detection of cyber-attacks?

    Our driving theory is the Instance-Based Learning Theory (IBLT), which in essence proposes that people make choices by retrieving the best outcomes from their past experience. The process involves:

  • Retrieve memories (instances) that resemble the current situation (instances are triplets: situation-decision-utility)
  • Filter memories according to their maximum experienced expected value (utility or blended value)
  • Evaluate and store new instances reflecting each possible option in the decision situation
  • Select the option with the maximum blended value


    April 17, 2018
    Prashanth Rajivan and Cleotilde Gonzalez decided to look beyond the reasons why users fall for online fraud attacks. "Psychological research on human adversarial behavior is necessary to uncover factors that determine how deception and phishing strategies originally manifest in phishing emails"

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    SecurityBrief Asia

    February 28, 2018
    Researchers probe psychology behind phishing attacks. What makes the difference between a successful phishing attack and an unsuccessful one? Researchers Prashanth Rajivan and Cleotilde Gonzalez discovered substantial findings while analyzing what phishing strategies are used and how they are implemented.

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    February 28, 2018
    Lessons From The Dark Side: Phishing Tricks For Honest Email Marketers. What can legitimate business people learn from the top phishing tactics

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