School of Psychology
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
Lecturer in Psychology
Research Areas: Inductive and deductive reasoning, category learning, face matching.
My primary research interest is human reasoning and its underlying cognitive processes, with the overarching question: how do people draw conclusions or make decisions based on new and existing knowledge?
My current main projects are testing influential dual-process theories, which propose that human reasoning and judgement is driven by two qualitatively different kinds of cognitive processes: One is often characterized as fast and intuitive, while the other is described as slow and deliberative. A major project I am working on with Prof. Brett Hayes (University of New South Wales) and Prof. John Dunn (University of Western Australia) involves testing whether dual-process theories are needed to account for inductive and deductive reasoning – assessments of whether a conclusion is ‘plausible’ based on some given information, or ‘logically follows’ from particular information, respectively.
Another project with Prof. Michael Kalish (Syracuse University) tests similar dual-process theories in the domain of category learning.
An important finding across this research is that despite the popularity of dual-process theories, key results that have been used to support them are consistent with simpler single-process theories. This suggests that the dual-process distinction may be unwarranted.
Another ongoing branch of my research with Dr Carolyn Semmler (University of Adelaide) involves face matching: decisions about whether two images show the same (unfamiliar) person. We are interested in when people’s confidence in a decision can be used to predict accuracy. Importantly, we examine the effect of rare non-matches, as occurs in some applied contexts such as border security.
PhD, Masters, or Honours Research Projects
Please contact me if you are interested in any of these projects:
1. Theoretical or applied research in reasoning and decision making, including under time-pressure or in high-stakes situations.
2. Training reasoning and critical thinking skills in educational or occupational settings.
3. Modelling the time-course of inductive and deductive reasoning.
4. Investigating the neuropsychology of inductive and deductive reasoning, e.g., EEG and/or fMRI research.
5. Exploring developmental changes in children's reasoning.
Date Position Institution name 2019 Lecturer University of Adelaide 2015 - 2019 Postdoctoral Research Fellow University of New South Wales 2014 - 2015 Postdoctoral Research Fellow Syracuse University 2012 - 2014 Lecturer University of Adelaide
Awards and Achievements
Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount 2019 Teaching Award Executive Dean's Team Award University of Adelaide Australia — 2013 Teaching Award Executive Dean's Learning & Teaching Prize University of Adelaide Australia — 2009 Teaching Award School of Psychology’s Excellence in Teaching Award University of Adelaide Australia — 2007 Scholarship Australian Postgraduate Award Australian Federal Government Australia —
Date Institution name Country Title — University of Adelaide Australia PhD in Psychology — University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Psychology (Honours)
I have extensive experience in undergraduate teaching in cognitive psychology, research methods, and statistics. In 2020 I am Course Coordinator for the online Graduate Diploma course, Research Methods, Design and Analysis (Online Teaching Period 1), and for Psychology 1B.
Other Supervision Activities
Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name 2020 - ongoing Principal Supervisor Testing dual-process theories of reasoning development The University of Adelaide — Honours — Minling Tan 2020 - ongoing Principal Supervisor Testing cognitive theories of nutrition judgements based on food labelling The University of Adelaide — Honours — Seok-Jun Kang
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