Adam Harris

Dr Adam Harris

Current position

Senior Lecturer in Experimental Psychology, University College London

Research Interests

My main research interests lie in the area of Judgment & Decision Making. Specifically, much of my research investigates how probabilities are estimated, communicated and used so as to guide subsequent decision making. This work has implications in the domains of risk perception and risk communication. I also have ongoing projects in reasoning where I am interested in concepts relating to source reliability and coherence.
This blog summarises some of my recent work questioning the status of optimism research.

In addition to my research and teaching, I deliver sessions on expert decision making to the FA UEFA Pro Licence course.

Current PhD Students

Keith O' Brien
Sarah Smith
Sarah Jenkins

Completed PhD Students

Laura de Molière

Contact

Adam Harris
Department of Experimental Psychology
University College London, UK
26, Bedford Way
WC1H 0AP, UK
E-mail: adam.harris [at] ucl.ac.uk

Publications

Notice: Some of the documents listed below are available for downloading. These have been provided as a means to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work on a noncommercial basis. Copyright and all rights therein are maintained by the authors or by other copyright holders, notwithstanding that they have offered their works here electronically. It is understood that all persons copying this information will adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. These works may not be re-posted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.

2017

Harris, A. J. L. (2017). Understanding the coherence of the severity effect and optimism phenomena: Lessons from attention. Consciousness and Cognition, 50, 30-44.[pdf]

Harris, A. J. L., de Molière, L., Soh, M., & Hahn, U. (2017). Unrealistic comparative optimism: An unsuccessful search for evidence of a genuinely motivational bias. PLoS ONE, 12(3): e0173136 [open access]

Harris, A. J. L., Por, H-H., & Broomell, S. B. (2017). Anchoring climate change communications. Climatic Change, 140, 387-398. [view]

2016

Harris, A. J. L., & Speekenbrink, M. (2016). Semantic cross-scale numerical anchoring. Judgment and Decision Making, 11, 572-581. [pdf]

Shah, P., Harris, A. J. L., Bird, G., Catmur, C., & Hahn, U. (2016). A pessimistic view of optimistic belief updating. Cognitive Psychology, 90, 71-127. [open access] audioslides

White, N., Reid, F., Harris, A. J. L., Harries, P., & Stone, P (2016). A systematic review of predictions of survival in palliative care: How accurate are clinicians and who are the experts? PLoS ONE, 11(8): e0161407 [open access]

de Molière, L., & Harris, A. J. L. (2016). Conceptual and direct replications fail to support the Stake-Likelihood Hypothesis as an explanation for the interdependence of utility and likelihood judgments. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 145, e13-e26 [docx]

Hahn, U., Harris, A. J. L., & Corner, A. (2016). Public reception of climate science: Coherence, reliability, and independence. Topics in Cognitive Science, 8, 180-195.[docx]

Harris, A. J. L., Hahn, U., Madsen, J. K., & Hsu, A. S. (2016). The Appeal to Expert Opinion: Quantitative support for a Bayesian Network Approach. Cognitive Science, 40, 1496-1533. [pdf]

Jenkins, S., Harris, A. J. L., & Lark, R. M. (2016). 'Unlikely' outcomes might never occur, but what about 'unlikely (20% chance)' outcomes? In A. Papafragou, D. Grodner, D. Mirman, & J. C. Trueswell (Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 390-395). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society. [pdf]

2015

Earwaker, H., Morgan, R. M., Harris, A. J. L., & Hall, L. J. (2015). Fingermark submission decision-making within a UK fingerprint laboratory: Do experts get the marks that they need? Science & Justice, 55, 239-247.[full text]

Stewart, N., Reimers, S., & Harris, A. J. L. (2015). On the origin of utility, weighting, and discounting functions: How they get their shapes and how to change their shapes. Management Science, 61, 687-705. [pdf]

Stewart, N., Ungemach, C., Harris, A. J. L., Bartels, D. M., Newell, B. R., Paolacci, G., & Chandler, J. (2015). The average laboratory samples a population of 7,300 Amazon Mechanical Turk Workers. Judgment and Decision Making, 10, 479-491. [pdf]

2014

Hahn, U., & Harris, A. J. L. (2014). What does it mean to be biased: motivated reasoning and rationality. The Psychology of Learning and Motivation, 61, 41-102.[pdf]

Ryterska, A., Harris, A. J. L., Ejova, A., Jahanshahi, M., & Osman, M. (2014). Investigating decision-making in Parkinson's disease in tasks characterized by probabilistic cue-outcome associations: the role of optimality.Annals of Neuroscience and Psychology, 1:2 [pdf]

Gobel, M. S., Ong, T., & Harris, A. J. L. (2014). A culture-by-context analysis of endowment effects. In P. Bello, M. Guarini, M. McShane, & B. Scassellati (Eds.), Proceedings of the 36th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 2269-2274). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.[pdf]

O'Brien, K., & Harris, A. J. L. (2014). Two is company, three is a crowd: Party labels and number of candidates as determinants of 'incorrect' vote choice. In P. Bello, M. Guarini, M. McShane, & B. Scassellati (Eds.), Proceedings of the 36th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 2705-2710). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society. [pdf]

Smith, S., & Harris, A. J. L. (2014). Previously encountered options affect risky decisions in choices between pension funds. In P. Bello, M. Guarini, M. McShane, & B. Scassellati (Eds.), Proceedings of the 36th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 1479-1484). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.[pdf]

2013

Harris, A. J. L., Corner, A., & Hahn, U. (2013). James is polite and punctual (and useless): A Bayesian formalization of faint praise. Thinking and Reasoning, 19, 414-429.[pdf]

Harris, A. J. L., Corner, A., Xu, J., & Du, X. (2013). Lost in translation? Interpretations of the probability phrases used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in China and the UK. Climatic Change, 121, 415-425. [pdf]
[* For a short summary of this paper in Nature Climate Change's Research Highlights section, see pdf.]

Harris, A. J. L., Shah, P., Catmur, C., Bird, G., & Hahn, U. (2013). Autism, optimism and positive events: Evidence against a general optimistic bias. In M. Knauff, M. Pauen, N. Sebanz, & I. Wachsmuth (Eds.), Proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 555-560). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.[pdf]

Hahn, U., Harris, A. J. L., & Oaksford, M. (2013). Rational argument, rational inference. Argument and Computation, 4, 21-35.[pdf]

Harris, A. J. L., Harvey, N., Smith, L. A., Stainforth, D. A., & Thompson, E. (2013). Written evidence in response to the House of Commons' Science and Technology inquiry into 'Climate: public understanding and its policy implications'

2012

Hahn, U., Oaksford, M., & Harris, A. J. L. (2012). Testimony and argument: A Bayesian perspective. In F. Zenker (Ed.), Bayesian Argumentation (pp. 15-38). Dordrecht: Springer.

Harris, A. J. L., Hsu, A. S., & Madsen, J. K. (2012). Because Hitler did it! Quantitative tests of Bayesian argumentation using 'ad hominem'. Thinking and Reasoning, 18, 311-343 [pdf]

Harris, A. J. L., & Osman, M. (2012). The illusion of control: A Bayesian perspective. Synthese, 189 (1, Supplement 1), 29-38. [pdf]

2011

*Harris, A. J. L., & Corner, A. (2011). Communicating environmental risks: Clarifying the severity effect in interpretations of verbal probability expressions. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 37, 1571-1578 [pdf]
[* This paper resulted in receipt of the Division of Experimental Psychology 2012 New Investigator Award in Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition.]

Harris, A. J. L., & Hahn, U. (2011). Unrealistic optimism about future life events: A cautionary note. Psychological Review, 118, 135-154. [pdf]

Harris, A. J. L., Rowley, M. G., Beck, S. R., Robinson, E. J., & McColgan, K. L. (2011). Agency affects adults', but not children's, guessing preferences in a game of chance. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 64, 1772-1787. [pdf]

Navarro-Martinez, D., Salisbury, L. C., Lemon, K. N., Stewart, N., Matthews, W. J., & Harris, A. J. L. (2011). Minimum required payment and supplemental information disclosure effects on consumer debt repayment decisions. Journal of Marketing Research, 48, S60-S77.[pdf]

2010

Corner, A., Harris, A. J. L., & Hahn, U. (2010). Conservatism in belief revision and participant skepticism. In S. Ohlsson & R. Catrambone (Eds.), Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 1625-1630). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society. [pdf]

2009

Hahn, U., Harris, A. J. L., & Corner, A. (2009). Argument content and argument source: An exploration. Informal Logic, 29, 337-367. [pdf]

Harris, A. J. L., Corner, A., & Hahn, U. (2009). Estimating the probability of negative events. Cognition, 110, 51-64. [pdf]

Harris, A. J. L., & Hahn, U. (2009). Bayesian rationality in evaluating multiple testimonies: Incorporating the role of coherence. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 35, 1366-1372. [pdf]

Harris, A., Corner, A., & Hahn, U. (2009). "Damned by faint praise": A Bayesian account. In N. A. Taatgen & H. van Rijn (Eds.), Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 292-297). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society. [pdf]

2007

Harris, A., Corner, A., & Hahn, U. (2007). Estimating the probability of negative events. In S. Vosniadou, D. Kayser, & A. Protopapas (Eds.), Proceedings of EuroCogSci07: The European Cognitive Science Conference (pp. 353-358). Hove, UK: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. [doc]