School of Biological and Chemical Sciences

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Dr Magda Osman
Senior Lecturer in Experimental Cognitive Psychology

Location: Room 2.25, Fogg building
Phone: +44 (0)20 7882 5903

My main research interests concern understanding the underlying mechanisms involved in learning, decision making, and problem solving in complex dynamic environments (e.g, biological (fitness), economic (stock market), ecological (rainforest), industrial (nuclear power plant), mechanical (automobile), management (company), and safety critical (automated-pilot) systems).

Broadly, what these situations share in common is that a number of elements will vary from one point in time to another, not always reliably so, and not always as a direct consequence of the actions that we choose to make. In a recent review, I discuss the characteristics that make these situations complex, along with the psychological armoury we have to respond to the high degree of uncertainty that they generate (Osman, 2010).

By examining a number of recent advances in cognitive psychology, cognitive science, neuropsychology, engineering and human factors research, much of my recent work (Osman, et al, 2008; Osman, 2010; Osman, forthcoming) investigates the general principles these disciplines share in understanding how we control uncertainty.

Other research interests include examining whether there are purported functionally dissociable mechanisms between conscious and unconscious reasoning/learning/decision making processes (Osman, 2004; Osman & Stavy, 2006), the relationship between deception and other cognitive controlled processes (Osman, Fitzpatrick & Channon, 2009), and the role of probability judgments and causal reasoning in our experiences of coincidences.

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