Prior to joining the Open University I completed a PhD in Experimental Psychology at Plymouth University. This explored the way that people learn causal associations, particularly about when making decisions about uncertain or irrelevant information. I investigated an effect called the redundancy effect, where individuals indicate that one type of a redundant cue (a blocked cue) is a stronger cause of the outcome than a different type of a redundant cue (an uncorrelated cue). This effect is puzzling because notable models of learning (e. g. Rescorla & Wagner, 1972) predict the opposite effect. My research indicated that the redundancy effect is due to uncertainty about the blocked cue and a lack of inhibition.
Currently, as a Research Associate at PUFin, I am working on a project investigating the effectiveness of an intervention aimed at encouraging people to save money, so that they can avoid debt in the case of financial emergency.
Broadly my research interests include attention, learning, reasoning, and decision-making.
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