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Wenjia Joyce Zhao (Assistant Professor)

Joyce Zhao


Outline of work:

Judgment and decision making

Mathematical and computational modeling

I study the cognitive basis of decision making, with the use of behavioural experiments, process-tracing methods, and mathematical and computational models. My research program is composed of two interrelated components. The first investigates how decision makers integrate information to make decisions, through the lens of sequential sampling models. The second extends the scope of sequential sampling models by specifying the content of inputs to the information integration process. This involves developing models that describe process-level data on how decision makers search for information, either internally (from memory) or externally (from an information display on a computer screen). With progress in these two areas, I hope to provide unifying modeling frameworks for studying preferential choice.

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Representative Publications:

  • Zhao, W. J., Coady, A., & Bhatia, S. (2022). Computational mechanisms for context-based behavioral interventions: A large-scale analysis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 119(15), e2114914119.

  • Zhao, W. J., Richie, R., & Bhatia, S. (2022). Process and content in decisions from memory. Psychological Review, 129(1), 73.

  • Zhao, W. J., Walasek, L., & Bhatia, S. (2020). Psychological mechanisms of loss aversion: A drift-diffusion decomposition. Cognitive psychology, 123, 101331
  • Sheng, F., Ramakrishnan, A., Seok, D., Zhao, W. J., Thelaus, S., Cen, P., & Platt, M. L. (2020). Decomposing loss aversion from gaze allocation and pupil dilation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117(21), 11356-11363.
  • Zhao, W. J., Diederich, A., Trueblood, J. S., & Bhatia, S. (2019). Automatic biases in intertemporal choice. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 26(2), 661-668