Cognitive failures – individual predictors and intervention possibilities

APVV-16-0153

Duration of the project:
1.7.2017 - 30.6.2021

Principal investigator:
doc. PaedDr. Vladimíra Čavojová, PhD.

List of scientific co-workers:
Mgr. Lenka Valuš, PhD.
PhDr. Eva Ballová Mikušková, PhD.
Mgr. Jana Bašnáková, MSc.
Mgr. Jurkovič Marek, PhD.
Mgr. Jakub Šrol, PhD.
PhDr. Brezina Ivan, PhD.
Mgr. Mária Kénesy Túnyiová, PhD.
PhDr. Robert Krause, PhD.
Mgr. Dáša Vedejová, PhD.
Mgr. Miroslava Galasová
Mgr. Jakub Lieskovský

Annotation:
Project focuses on the question which individual predictors influence cognitive failures of people and how can we help them to make better decisions. Cognitive failures are examined from two perspectives – from the perspective of predictors entering into cognitive process and from the perspective of predictors of cognitive failures in specific areas. Relatively new and original is the area of epistemically suspect beliefs (ESB), which represent specific domain of cognitive failures understanding of which can have practical implications for everyday life – from an explication of vulnerability in financial decisions to political extremism. The aim of the project is to construct methods for measuring rational thinking and ESB, identify individual predictors of cognitive failures and their mutual interaction. It will enable us to examine how resistance to cognitive failures in rational tasks correlates with various ESB and to identify socio-cultural factors that predict the forming of ESB in Slovakia. We will also experimentally verify the effect of interventions modified according to these individual predictors on cognitive failures. Previous intervention efforts failed because of the universality of used procedures without regard to specific characteristics of groups of people, who are – for whatever reasons – immune to these interventions and without regard to specific domains of cognitive failures, therefore we aim to specifically address these concerns in our project. Thus, our results can contribute to the verification of the latest models of cognitive processes within dual-process theories and promote our understanding of the connection between cognitive failures in rational thinking tasks and ESB as one of the manifestations of cognitive failure in everyday life.


Key words:
cognitive biases, epistemically suspect beliefs, scientific reasoning, debiasing, confirmation bias

Selected publications:
1. Ballová Mikušková, E. & Čavojová, V. (2020). The Effect of Analytic Cognitive Style on Credulity. Frontiers in Psychology, 11 (584424), 2682.
2. Burič, R. & Šrol, J. (2020). Individual differences in logical intuitions on reasoning problems presented under two-response paradigm. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 32 (4), 460-477.
3. Čavojová, V., Šrol, J. & Jurkovič, M. (2020). Why should we try to think like scientists? Scientific reasoningand susceptibility to epistemically suspect beliefs and cognitive biases. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 4 (1), 85-95.
4. Čavojová, v. & Ersoy, S. (2020). The role of scientific reasoning and religious beliefs in use of complementary and alternative medicine. Journal of Public Health, 42 (3), e239-e248.
5. Čavojová, V & Brezina, I. (2020). Why do we believe weird things? Recent trends in cognitive failures research in Slovakia. In 12th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (ICERI 2019). Seville, SPAIN: IATED. p. 2267-2276. ISBN 978-84-09-14755-7.
6. Čavojová, V., Šrol, J., & Ballová Mikušková, E. (2020). How scientific reasoning correlates with health-related beliefs and behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic? Journal of Health Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1177/1359105320962266
7. Teličák, P. & Halama, P. (2020). Temná triáda osobnosti ako prediktor epistemicko nepodložených presvedčení = Dark Triad as a Predictor of Epistemically Unfounded Beliefs. In L. Sabová (Ed.), Psychologica L : Zborník. Medzinárodná konferencia: Osobnosť v kontexte kognícií, emocionality a motivácii 2019. Bratislava: STIMUL. s. 109-115. ISBN 978-80-8127-278-3.
8. Vedejová, D. & Čavojová, V. (2020). Ako skúmať sklon k sebapotvrdzovaniu? In Československá psychologie, 64 (2), 184-196.
9. Vedejová, D. & Čavojová, V. (2020). Confirmation Bias in Information Search, Interpretation, and Memory Recall: Evidence from Reasoning about Four Controversial Topics. Thinking and Reasoning. https://doi.org/10.1080/13546783.2021.1891967

Cognitive limits of effective information processing and communication

2/0085/17

Duration of the project:
2017-2020

Principal investigator:
doc. PaedDr. Vladimíra Čavojová, PhD.

List of scientific co-workers:
Mgr. Lenka Valuš, PhD.
PhDr. Eva Ballová Mikušková, PhD.
Mgr. Jana Bašnáková, MSc.
Mgr. Jurkovič Marek, PhD.
Mgr. Jakub Šrol, PhD.
PhDr. Brezina Ivan, PhD.
Mgr. Mária Kénesy Túnyiová, PhD.
PhDr. Robert Krause, PhD.
Mgr. Dáša Vedejová, PhD.
Mgr. Miroslava Galasová
Mgr. Jakub Lieskovský

Annotation:
The aim of the project was to identify and describe factors contributing to people’s better acceptance, comprehension and processing of expert information that are necessary for informed and evidence based decision making. The amount and complexity of information is growing steadily, however, people tend to believe more in pseudoscientific theories, biases or they deny science altogether, which has a negative impact on the life of individuals (refusal of vaccination, financing ineffective “treatment” methods, ignoring medical recommendations, believing in conspiracies, etc.). Lack of comprehension and acceptance of expert information are caused by (1) cognitive limitations of the information recipient (e.g., confirmation bias), (2) the way information is phrased and presented (e.g., using percent instead of natural frequencies). By studying these limitations we should be able to design and test the possibilities of efficient communication of information for debiasing and optimization of decisions.


Key words:
judgment, beliefs, critical thinking, scientific reasoning, understanding of information

Selected publications:
1. Kostovičová, L., Bašnáková, J., & Bačová, V. (2017). Predicting perception of risks and benefits within novel domains. Studia Psychologica, 59(3), 176–192.
2. Čavojová, V., Brezina, I., & Jurkovič, M. (2020). Expanding the bullshit research out of pseudo-transcendental domain. Current Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-020-00617-3
3. Šrol, J. (2018). Individuálne rozdiely v inhibícii presvedčení pri sylogistickom usudzovaní. In Československá psychologie, LXII (1), 1-15.
4. Vedejová, D. & Čavojová, V. (2020). Ako skúmať sklon k sebapotvrdzovaniu? Československá psychologie, 64, 2, 184-196.
5. Čavojová, V., Šrol, J., & Adamus, M. (2018). My point is valid, yours is not: myside bias in reasoning about abortion. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 30 (7), 656-669.
6. Čavojová, V., & Ersoy, S. (2020). The role of scientific reasoning and religious beliefs in use of complementary and alternative medicine. Journal of Public Health, 42, 3, e239-e248. https://doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fdz120
7. Čavojová, V., Šrol, J., & Ballová Mikušková, E. (2020). How scientific reasoning correlates with health-related beliefs and behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic? Journal of Health Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1177/1359105320962266
8. Hatoková, M., Masaryk, R. & Kénesy Túnyiová, M. (2018). How Slovak mothers view child vaccination: Focus group analysis. Československá psychologie, 62(2), 101-118.

Risk assessment in decision making of individuals on the personal and company/business finances and business opportunities

VEGA 2/0118/17

Duration of the project:
2017-2019

Principal investigator:
Ing. Mgr. Róbert Hanák PhD.

List of scientific co-workers:
prof. PhDr. Viera Bačová, DrSc.
Mgr. Denisa Fedáková, PhD.
Mgr. Katarína Dudeková, PhD.
Mgr. Matúš Konečný
Mgr. Matúš Grežo, PhD.
Mgr. Lucia Ištoňová
Ing. Edita Nemcová, PhD.
Ing. Ivana Studená, PhD.
Mgr. Andrea Zelienková
Mgr. Zuzana Kožárová

Annotation:
Individuals make decisions about personal and business finances facing risk and uncertainty. At the same time these decisions, such as retirement scheme choices, investment of life-savings, investment into new ventures and alike are of crucial importance and imply consequences for the future of the concerned individual and that of his/her family members. Many individuals, however, make sub-optimal decisions, leading to considerable personal/family/business financial losses. One of the reasons of such failures is related to differences in individual risk perception and assessment. This project therefore aims to study psychological factors and variables (personality, cognitive and socio-demographic) playing a role in risk assessment throughout the process of financial decision making. The project will produce new theoretical knowledge as well as concrete solutions helping individuals to better understand, support, and handle the process of financial risk assessment.

Key words:
financial psychology, financial decisions of individuals, assessing risks and opportunities in making financial decisions, expertise, business opportunities

Decision making and effective complex problem solving in intrapsychic bonds with cognitive styles

VEGA 2/0116/15

Duration of the project:
2015-2018

Principal investigator:
Sarmány-Schuller Ivan, PhDr. CSc.

List of scientific co-workers:
Ruisel Imrich, prof. PhDr. DrSc.
Kordačová Jana , PhDr. CSc.
Grežo Matúš, Mgr.

Annotation:
The research project focuses on the experimental research study of problem solving, a crucial point is internal representation that is the basis of a hypothesis considered as a potential problem solution. Problem solving is perceived as a flexible interaction of two systems – generator and evaluator of thoughts, that include situation analysis, material analysis and conflict analysis. The aim of the project is to explain the role of personality and cognitive-style components in the problem solving and decision making process. We will develop new, original experimental methods for the assessment of complex problem solving, results will be included in a monograph and partial results will be presented to scientific audience at home and abroad.

Key words:
complex problem solving, cognitive styles, cognitive biases, counterfactual thinking, decision making, coping

Decision making in emotionally demanding situations: Research of macrocognitions and emotions in the naturalistic decision making paradigm

VEGA 2/0080/14

Duration of the project:
1.1.2014 - 31.12.2017

Principal investigator:
Jitka Gurňáková, Mgr. PhD.

List of scientific co-workers:
Peter Halama, Doc. Mgr. PhD.
Mgr. Branislav Uhrecký
Lukáš Pitel, Mgr. PhD.
Hana Harenčárová, Mgr.
Katarína Košíková Žiaková, Mgr.
Mgr. Martin Sedlár

Annotation:
The project follows the current research activities at the Institute and also the ending research project VEGA “Personality aspects of effective self-regulation and decision-making in emotionally demanding situations”, that focused on the problems of naturalistic decision making (NDM) and served as our introduction to the theory and methodology applied in this approach to the study of decision making. The current project focuses on macrocognitions, and we plan to target selected macrocognitive processes that participate in decision making in emotionally demanding situations. Moreover, we will study also the interaction between cognitions and emotions in the decision making process.

Key words:
decision making, naturalistic decision making, macrocognitions, emotions

Decision making of professionals: processual, personality and social aspects

APVV-0361-12

Duration of the project:
2013-2017

Principal investigator:
Doc. Mgr. Peter Halama, PhD.

List of scientific co-workers:

Annotation:
The project focuses on the study of decision-making processes in those professionals where decision making significantly influences their professional performance. The aim is to analyze decision making of professionals from the aspect of heuristic strategies, and from the aspect of identifying key processual aspects of decision making in professionals. The focus is also on microcognitions in decision making (basic building blocks of thinking) and macrocognitions (complex cognitive adaptations to the complexity of stimulus situation). The project also analyzes personality and social variables with the potential to enter the decision-making process. A separate space is dedicated to the description of intuitive and systematic strategies of decision making in professionals and their mutual comparison.

Key words:
Decision making, professionals, heuristics, personality, macrocognitions, microcognitions

Social influences in individual decision making

VEGA 2/0154/13

Duration of the project:
01/2013 - 12/2016

Principal investigator:
PhDr. Radomír Masaryk, PhD.

List of scientific co-workers:
Mgr. Jana Bašnáková, MSc.
Mgr. Lenka Kostovičová,PhD.
Mgr. Katarína Dudeková, PhD.
prof. PhDr. Viera Bačová, DrSc.
PhDr. Ivan Brezina, PhD. (od roku 2014)
Mgr. Mária Hatoková, PhD.
Mgr. Mária Túniyová, PhD.

Annotation:
The project analyzes social influences on decision making in individuals. The objective is to find out how aspects of group composition - e.g., information sharing, group norms and other factors of social influence have impact on individual decision making. Decision making shall be investigated in the process of solving different types of decision making problems (e.g., heuristics tasks, decision making under conditions of risk and uncertainty). Explored by different methods (e.g., verbal or written protocols), the project is to focus on the result of decision making as well as its process. The methodological objective is to adapt existing decision making tasks, to set up an own set of tasks to explore social decision making, to test those tasks, and to evaluate their validity. After the initial phase of fully controlled laboratory experiments the findings shall be verified and further expanded in the natural group setting (with a modified set of methods), and an in-depth in-situ qualitative study.

Key words:
individual decision making, social decision making, social influences, natural groups

Decision making of experts: Using intuition for solution of strategic tasks

VEGA 2/0064/13

Duration of the project:
01/2013 – 12/2016

Principal investigator:
PaedDr. Vladimíra Čavojová, PhD.

List of scientific co-workers:
Ing. Mgr. Róbert Hanák, PhD.
PhDr. Eva Ballová Mikušková, PhD.
PhDr. Daniela Kusá, CSc.
Mgr. Martin Majerník, Msc.
Mgr. Marek Jurkovič

Annotation:
Intuition in research of judgment and decision making (JDM) is a relatively new issue with implications on experts’ decision making, effectiveness of analytical and intuitive processes in the quality of JDM. It lies at the intersection between the most significant traditions of JDM research – Heuristics and Biases program of Kahneman and Tversky, ecological rationality of Gigerenzer and the ABC group, and naturalistic decision making of Klein, which define intuition differently and also differ in the view of expert decision making. The aim of this project is to analyze strong and weak points of theoretical models in JDM and their validity for studying intuitive decision making in experts. The empirical research will be realized with experts and non-experts, thus enabling to gain knowledge of people’s use of analytic and intuitive decision making. In other words, which cognitive processes and components of environment participate in the choice of weighted decisional strategies versus fast and frugal heuristics.

Key words:
intuition, strategic decision making, experts, decision making strategies, ecological rationality, naturalistic decision making

Centre for Strategic Analyses SASc., Centre for Interdisciplinary Research and Strategies of Society – CESTA

project of Centers of excellence

Duration of the project:
4.8. 2011 - 31. 12.2014

Principal investigator:
Bačová Viera, prof. PhDr. DrSc. (za ÚEP SAV)

List of scientific co-workers:

Za ÚEP SAV:

Team: Stratégie rozhodovania v jednoduchej (binárnej) a komplexnej voľbe
Bačová Viera, prof. PhDr. DrSc., Baláž Vladimír, Doc. Ing. PhD. DrSc. (Prognostický ústav SAV), Stríženec Michal, PhDr. DrSc., Drobná Eva, Mgr., Dudeková Katarína, Mgr.

Team: Strategické rozhodovanie expertov
Kurincová Čavojová Vladimíra, PaedDr. PhD., Törvényi Belovičová Zuzana, PhDr. PhD., Ballová Mikušková Eva, PhDr. PhD., Hanák Róbert, Mgr. Ing. PhD., Harenčárová Hana, Mgr.

Team: Individuálne a sociálne rozhodovanie
Masaryk Radomír, PhDr. PhD., Bašnáková Jana, Mgr., MSc., Kostovičová Lenka, Mgr.

Za ÚAP FSEV UK:

Team: Stratégie rozhodovania pri voľbe kariéry
Kollárik Teodor, prof. PhDr. DrSc., Ritomský Alojz, Doc. PhDr. PhD., Letovancová Eva, Doc. PhDr. PhD., Lisá Elena, Doc. Mgr. PhD., Hennelová, Katarína, PhDr. PhD., Broniš Peter, Mgr.

Annotation:
The main goal of the project is the research of strategic decision making on a theoretical, experimental and empiric level. The Institute of Experimental Psychology SASc., as well as its partner the Institute of Applied Psychology of the Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences of Comenius University, will focus on psychological dimensions of individual and group strategic decision making. Results may be applied to design training programs for decision making, expert team building, in specific fields of forecasting, environmental development, security, and such.

Key words:
decision making strategies, decision-making expertise, individual and social decision making, career decision making, psychology of forecasting

Need for structure in the process of decision-making and coping

VEGA 2/0126/12

Duration of the project:
1.1.2012-31.12.2014

Principal investigator:
Sarmány Schuller Ivan, PhDr. CSc.

List of scientific co-workers:
Ruisel Imrich, prof. PhDr. DrSc.
Brezina Ivan, PhDr. PhD.
Ficková Emília, PhDr.
Kordačová Jana, PhDr. CSc.
Prokopčáková Alexandra, PhDr. CSc.
Ruiselová Zdenka, RNDr. CSc.
Kováč Damián, prof. PhDr. DrSc.
Túnyiová Mária, Mgr.

Annotation:
The project is based on the research and experimental study and verification of the personality construct “need for structure” in the process of decision-making. Current concepts of normative and descriptive models of decision-making do not offer a complex explanation of this process. The personality correlate, which significantly influences the process of decision-making, is largely omitted. The construct of personal need for structure, theoretically based on the condition of a certain ability of an individual to reduce the uncertainty of (any) situation, is related to a higher ability to solve new situations or cope with stress. The aim of the project is to explain the role of personality in the process of decision-making through the characteristics of world structuring and the ability to create own structure, mutual interaction with coping strategies, counterfactual thinking, cross-cultural comparison, rational and irrational beliefs, cognitive functions participating in the intuitive and rational decision-making and brain activity.

Key words:
personality, decision-making, coping, counterfactual thinking, neurophysiology and decision-making, cross-cultural comparison

Personality aspects of effective self-regulation and decision-making in emotionally demanding situations

VEGA 2/0095/10

Duration of the project:
1.1.2010 – 31.12.2013

Principal investigator:
Gurňáková Jitka, Mgr. PhD.

List of scientific co-workers:
Halama Peter, Doc. Mgr. PhD.
Adamovová Lucia, Mgr. PhD.
Čičmanová Lenka, Mgr. PhD.
Törvenyi Belovičová Zuzana, PhDr. PhD.
Kamhalová, Ivana, Mgr.

Annotation:
The aim of the project is identification of personality aspects related to the choice of effective strategies of self-regulation and decision-making in real-life emotionally demanding situations. Central to the project is the naturalistic approach to the study of decision-making and self-regulation in adults, who are confronted with emotionally demanding situations in their professional or personal life. Decision-making and self-regulation are in this context interrelated and parallel processes. The combination of qualitative and quantitative approach serves to confront empiric data with theoretical models of self-regulation and decision-making as well as to elaborate a typology and personality profile of individuals who possess effective self-regulation and decision-making in emotionally demanding situations.

Key words:
self-regulation, emotions, decision-making, naturalistic theories of decision-making, emotionally demanding situations, personality

Decisional behaviour interpretations: psychology and economics perspectives?

VEGA 2/0121/10

Duration of the project:
1.1.2010 – 31.12.2012

Principal investigator:
Bačová Viera, prof. PhDr. DrSc.

List of scientific co-workers:
Kurincová Čavojová Vladimíra, PaedDr. PhD.
Baláž Vladimír, Ing. PhD. DrSc. (PgÚ SAV)
Drobná Eva, Mgr

Annotation:
The first theories and models of decision-making originated in mathematics, statistics and economy, however gradually they were adopted by psychology as well (behavioral economy). At present, the opinions of neurosciences are intensively pushed forward. These have introduced images of decision-making processes in the brain (neuroeconomy) into the study of decision-making. Psychology, economy and neurosciences offer different interpretations of decisional behavior. The aim of our project is to contribute to the discussion whether psychological statements and descriptions bear any relevance for classic theories of decision-making, whether the divided sciences can be mutually beneficial and how this can be achieved. Project solvers will try to support their opinions with empiric and experimental data obtained through the classical process by Tversky and Kahneman. The present discussion on the so called „mindful“ vs „mindless“ theories of human behavior in decision-making exceeds this field through the possible influence on theories and studies in social sciences.

Key words:
decision-making, psychological processes, behavioral economy, prospect theory

Interactional strategies of children in context of empathy and cognitions in the perspective of theory of mind

VEGA 1/0541/09

Duration of the project:
1.1.2009 – 31.12.2011

Principal investigator:
Čavojová Vladimíra, PaedDr. PhD.

List of scientific co-workers:
Törvenyi Belovičová Zuzana, PhDr., PhD.
Verešová Andrea, Doc. PaedDr. PhD. (PdF UKF Nitra)
Romanová Martina, PaedDr. PhD. (Dicio)
Ballová Mikušková Eva, PhDr., PhD.

Annotation:
We might view the development of children’s mind from two levels – phylogenetic and ontogenetic. Prior to the arrival to school, a child will have made a huge progress with regard to understanding of the world. How and why the human mind has evolved into its shape we know nowadays has been subject of investigations and discussions of numerous contemporary investigators and thinkers. According to Cosmides and Tooby (1997), in course of evolution, human beings have evolved a special mental module for “reading human mind”, that developmental psychologists call “module of theory of mind” (ToM). The aim of the project called “Interactional strategies of children in context of empathy and cognitions in the perspective of theory of mind” is to contribute to an explanation of the developmental trajectory of the theory of mind in children of school age. And that, in particular, with regard to application of ToM to co-operative (empathy) or non-co-operative (cunning) interaction strategies of children.

Key words:
theory of mind (ToM), empathy, cognitions, cunningness, curiosity, games