UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


London Judgement and Decision Making seminars


The LJDM seminar series is supported by

University College London

City University London

Originally established at UCL in the early 1970’s as a weekly Cognition and Reasoning seminar, it later became an intercollegiate seminar on Language and Cognition in the early 1980’s. 

The name LJDM was finally coined in 1990, and the group has been running seminars under this name ever since, with lecturers and researchers in and around the UK meeting on a regular basis to discuss judgment and decision making, judgments of likelihood, reasoning, thinking, problem solving, forecasting, risk perception and communication, and other related topics.

If you would like to present your research to the group or to suggest a speaker, please contact the organizers:

- Lara Kirfel (lara-christina.kirfel.15@ucl.ac.uk),
- Sabine Topf (sabine.topf.14@ucl.ac.uk), and
- Tamara Shengelia (tamara.shengelia.15@ucl.ac.uk)

Unless specified otherwise, all seminars take place on Wednesdays at 5pm, in Room 313 at the Psychology Department, University College London (on the corner of Bedford Way, Gordon Square and Torrington Place, London WC1H 0AP). Map.

To get updates on the current schedule and weekly reminders of the seminars, please subscribe to the Risk and Decision mailing list.

All are welcome to attend.

Term 1 Seminar Schedule

September – December 2019


Christine Looser 
Harvard University

Perceptual routes to social understanding

Understanding the thoughts and feelings of those around us is crucial for building social bonds. However, people lack direct access to others’ minds and regularly use perceptual cues to infer others’ mental states. In this talk, I outline how perceptual cues are analyzed for social meaning and explore how this process impacts the way we judge others’ mental states. In the first part of the talk, I will present behavioral and neural evidence in the domain of face perception to demonstrate that translating visual cues into social meaning occurs in two stages: a rapid, indiscriminate pattern-matching process that detects face configurations, followed by a slower more sustained stage wherein faces are scrutinized for mind detection. In the second part of the talk, I explore the consequences of relying on perceptual cues to understand others’ minds. In particular, I will present data on self-other biases in the evaluation of physical and mental experiences. Together these results suggest people rely on perceptual cues to understand others’ minds, but doing so subverts their ability to understand those minds accurately.


Hana Chockler 
Kings College London

Title TBC

Abstract to follow



John Rolison
University of Essex

How does processing of valenced information shape age differences in risk taking?

A wealth of research has shown that people are less inclined to take risks as they approach older age. Yet relatively little is known about the psychological mechanisms that underlie adult age differences in risk taking. In this talk, I will propose that age differences in the processing of positive and negative information play an important role in shaping age differences in risk taking. Recent findings will be discussed that suggest age differences in the processing of valenced information influences risk perceptions and behavioural intentions that inform decision-making. I will speculate that goal selection and prioritization across adulthood is adaptive for enhancing decision-making goals.

Chris Lucas

University of Edinburgh

Title TBC

Abstract to follow


Dario Krpan 

Title TBC

Abstract to follow



No seminar this week


Edmond Awad

University of Exeter

Title TBC

Abstract to follow


Jim Everett

University of Kent

Title TBC

Abstract to follow


Yonatan Vanunu

University of New South Wales

Title TBC

Abstract to follow


Astrid Kause

University of Leeds

Title TBC

Abstract to follow


Marie Juanchich

University of Essex

Title TBC

Abstract to follow