As of now, we are looking for a motivated PhD student for a project on decision making and confidence. The project will be supervised by Prof. Kobe Desender (KU Leuven) and Prof. Tom Verguts (UGent). Preferred starting date is October 2020. You can apply for this position here.
You will prepare a PhD in the field of decision making and decision confidence. Its starting point is that people continuously evaluate whether their decisions are correct or not. For example, when a medical doctor is unsure whether a patient is healthy or not, she can recommend additional screening. Given the importance of such self-evaluation of choices, it is crucial to understand the computational and neural processes underlying decision confidence. Current consensus holds that decision confidence reflects the probability of a decision being correct given the available evidence. It remains unclear, however, how humans learn this quantity. We hypothesize that people use environmental feedback to learn which decisions are correct or wrong. Specifically, when one is very certain about a decision, but still receives negative feedback (i.e., a prediction error), this will change the way one evaluates subsequent performance. We will develop a computational model and learning algorithm that implements this concept. After validating this model, we will use it to explain overconfidence and underconfidence, and we will experimentally induce both. This project involves behavioral studies, computational modeling, and EEG measurements.