UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


London Judgment and Decision Making seminars

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.

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.

Titles, abstracts and recordings (where available) of previous seminars can be found here. 

The LJDM seminar series is supported by

University College London
City, University of London
Kings College London

If you would like to present your research to the group or to suggest a speaker, please contact the organizers:
- Ayse Ozsari-Sahin (ayse.sahin.18@ucl.ac.uk)
- Sahana Shankar (sahana.shankar@kcl.ac.uk)

Academic Year 2021/22

Wednesday 9th of February 2022

Dr Dawn Holford (University of Bristol)

The role of pragmatic inferences in communication and decision-making

In this talk, I present a series of empirical work that tested the different pragmatic inferences that people make when given a piece of information. In three series of empirical studies (covering 16 experiments) that used different contexts (e.g., food, health, COVID-19), we showed that people make inferences about what the “speaker” means, beyond what is there in the written information. We found that people take cues (1) from the way information is framed and (2) from the context of the situation to reach conclusions about (a) whether the speaker recommends an action or item and (b) what are the relevant events to focus on. I will discuss these findings and avenues for future research, particularly in the context of health and risk communication and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please click here for seminar.


Wednesday 16th of February 2022

Reading Week


Wednesday 23rd of February 2022

Speaker: TBC


Wednesday 2nd of March 2022

Bonan Zhao (The University of Edinburgh)

Title: TBC

Please click here for seminar.


Wednesday 9th of March 2022

Dr Rael Dawtry (University of Essex)

Title: TBC

Please click here for seminar.


Wednesday 16th of March 2022

Dr Nura Sidarus (university of Royal Holloway)

Who's in control? Prospective contributions to the sense of agency

Human voluntary action is typically accompanied by an experience of being in control of our actions and their consequences, referred to as sense of agency. Previous research has shown that the sense of agency relies on a retrospective comparison between expected and observed action outcomes. Our work has shown that there is also a prospective component to the sense of agency, related to the metacognitive monitoring of decision-making processes. Difficult decisions reduce our sense of agency over action outcomes. These effects generalise across tasks, from unconscious to conscious manipulations, in dynamic video games, and in social contexts. I will discuss the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying these prospective contributions to the sense of agency, and how they are integrated with outcome-related information. Furthermore, I will consider the implications of this work for understanding decision-making and learning processes, in both individual and social contexts.

Please click here for seminar.


Wednesday 23rd of March 2022

Dr Jonathan Rolison (University of Essex)

The psychological processes that drive self-reported risk preference

Why are some people more willing than others to take risks? While behavioural tasks (e.g., monetary lotteries) are often regarded as a gold standard for capturing a person’s risk preference, recent studies have found stated preferences (e.g., responses to hypothetical scenarios) to exhibit higher reliability, convergent validity, and test-retest stability. Yet, relatively little is known about the psychological processes underlying stated preferences. Central to the stated preference approach is the notion that people’s perceived risks and benefits are integrated in a trade-off to determine their risk propensity. I will discuss the results of studies designed to cast a light on the psychological processes that drive people’s risk preference. The results of these studies indicate that some people intentionally evaluate the risks and benefits of activities when deriving their risk propensity, resulting in more consistent integration of perceived risks and benefits. Associations with thinking dispositions indicate that participants who deliberately compute risk-reward trade-offs are more disposed to analytic thinking. The studies also reveal a broad repertoire of processes/representations that people report using for evaluating activities. The processes/representations people use are stable over time, associated with thinking dispositions, and influence their risk preference. The findings also provide causal evidence to underpin the as-if psychological risk-return model of risk preference.

Please click here for seminar.


Spring Break


Wednesday 4th of May 2022

Dr Amelie Gourdon-Kanhukamwe (King’s College London)

Title: TBC

Please click here for seminar.


Wednesday 11th of May 2022

Speaker: TBC



Wednesday 18th of May 2022

Dr Janina Hoffman (University of Bath)

Title: TBC

Please click here for seminar.



Wednesday 25th of May 2022

Romy Frömer (Brown University)

Title: TBC

Please click here for seminar.

Wednesday 1st of June 2022

Speaker: TBC


Wednesday 8th of June 2022

Speaker: TBC