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Risk Sensitivity

Starling at operant box Our research into decision-making under uncertainty started with strong influences from evolutionary-based Risk Sensitivity Theory, and was later influenced by other lines of enquiry, especially the psychophysics of time perception (Scalar Expectancy Theory) and research on human risk appetite by cognitive psychologists and economists (Prospect Theory). Currently we focus on Scalar Utility Theory, which fuses the psychophysics of time perception with that of perception for amounts of reward, and on the impact of learning processes on risky decisions. Current members of the group working in this area are Justine Aw, Marco Vasconcelos, Tiago Monteiro, and Alex Kacelnik.. Listed below are a few selected publications from our group, for further papers, please see the individual pages of our current group members in this area.

Relevant Publications

Kacelnik, A., & Bateson, M. (1996). Risky theories - The effects of variance on foraging decisions. American Zoologist 36 (4): 402-434.

Kacelnik, A. and M. Bateson (1997). "Risk-sensitivity: cross-roads for theories of decision making." Trends in Cognitive Science 1: 304-309.

Krebs, J. R. and A. Kacelnik (1997). Risk: a scientific view. Science, policy and Risk. ( Discussion Meeting), Royal Society March 15 1997, Royal Society.

Bateson, M. and A. Kacelnik, Eds. (1998). Risk-sensitive foraging: Decision making in variable environments. In Cognitive Ecology. Chicago University Press.

Kacelnik, A., Ed. (1998). Normative and descriptive models of decision making: time discounting and risk sensitivity. Rational Models of Cognition. Oxford, OUP.

Kacelnik, A., & Brunner, D. (2002). Timing and foraging: Gibbon's scalar expectancy theory and optimal patch exploitation. Learning and Motivation 33 (1): 177-195.

Schuck-Paim, C. and A. Kacelnik (2002). "Rationality in risk-sensitive foraging choices by starlings." Animal Behaviour 64: 869-879.