Image from Daniel Siegel

Image from Daniel Siegel

My interests are in social cognition. Specifically, I focus on judgments and decisions that are supported by statistical computations and moral principles. My research is animated by the tension between the twin goals of accuracy and fairness. People are motivated to make accurate social judgments, which often requires that group averages be applied to specific individuals. However, people are also motivated to make fair judgments, which often requires the opposite: relinquish group averages and consider the rights of individual. How do people navigate this tension?

Answering this question -- which combines research from JDM, social cognition, and moral cognition -- keeps me busy: it is a window into the flexibilities and constraints of the human mind as it operates in a world marked by globalization and technological change. Given the breakneck pace at which competing notions of "right" can spread and the ever-increasing role of algorithms and artificial intelligence in what were once exclusively human domains, there is a pressing need to understand the tension between accuracy and fairness from a broader perspective rooted in the behavioral sciences. My research aims to provide this understanding.