Adri­an Banks
February 2020

What do you work on?

Dual process the­o­ries of rea­son­ing and deci­sion making.

What real-world prob­lem do you see that your research could impact?

Under­stand­ing how we think can help improve it. It’s not easy to make good choic­es when sur­round­ed by fake news and media echo cham­bers, dif­fi­cult emo­tions, and the lure of short term rewards and this leads us to make deci­sions that are not in our best long term inter­ests both on a per­son­al level and a soci­etal level.

If we had a smarter approach to think­ing about our com­plex world then it would be a hap­pi­er, fair­er place and bet­ter for all.

“I was able to put togeth­er my first sim­ple exper­i­ment very quick­ly – in a few hours – and ran it the next day.”

What did you do using Gorilla?

Dual process the­o­ries of rea­son­ing and deci­sion mak­ing look at how intu­itive and ana­lyt­ic thought process­es inter­act. I am inter­est­ed in the intu­itive process­es of thinking.

Most­ly exper­i­ments in this area study prob­lems in which an intu­itive response con­flicts with a more delib­er­ate, ana­lyt­ic response such as in the clas­sic bat and ball problem.

“A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1.00 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?” Many peo­ple answer 10 cents, when the right answer is 5 cents.

How­ev­er, there is now evi­dence sug­gest­ing that there are ini­tial­ly sev­er­al intu­itive respons­es that occur in par­al­lel. I would go a bit fur­ther and sug­gest that there are sev­er­al dis­tinct mech­a­nisms of intu­ition that have been found, and my ques­tion is how these dif­fer­ent intu­itions oper­ate and influ­ence each other.

So, I am using Gorilla to devel­op a task with mul­ti­ple intu­itive respons­es in order to inves­ti­gate how our dif­fer­ent intu­itions inter­act and com­bine dur­ing thinking.

“I found the tools for build­ing exper­i­ments to be very easy to learn and implement.”

What did you find?

I haven’t fig­ured out how they inter­act yet, but I have dis­cov­ered that it doesn’t seem to work as I had orig­i­nal­ly thought!

For you, what is the stand-out fea­ture in Gorilla?

I was able to put togeth­er my first sim­ple exper­i­ment very quick­ly – in a few hours – and ran it the next day. I found the tools for build­ing exper­i­ments to be very easy to learn and implement.

How do you think online research is going to change your field?

The speed of data col­lec­tion is remark­able. New tech­nol­o­gy has always shaped the space of pos­si­ble research in sci­ence and I expect that online research will influ­ence the type of research that is con­duct­ed too.

 

Adri­an Banks
Cognitive Psychology Researcher
Senior Lecturer
University of Surrey
Adrian Banks

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