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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