Trust and cooperation are essential for both individual well-being and societal functioning. To understand how trust and cooperation emerge and influence our everyday behavior, my research investigates three overarching questions:
How do people make decisions in dilemmas of trust?
I examine how people use different types of informational cues (e.g., economic payoffs and physical appearances) to judge if a stranger is trustworthy or not. A key finding from my research is that people make trust decisions by focusing on information that is salient and easy to process (e.g., physical appearances), and they ignore information that requires time and cognitive effort to process (e.g., economic costs and benefits).
How do decision time and cognitive effort influence social decision-making?
I conduct experiments to understand how reaction times can be used to identify the processes that shape cooperation among strangers. My work has found that slow decision times are associated with feelings of decision conflict and, in turn, less extreme cooperation decisions. At the same time, people use others’ decision times to make predictions about whether strangers will cooperate. My work reveals that decision time provides insight into how people make cooperate decisions, and how people make predictions of others’ behavior.
How do trust and cooperation emerge in online marketplaces?
Online marketplaces users with unprecedented economic opportunities, but at the same time, these new opportunities are accompanied by new risks. My research examines how social psychological processes shape behavior and decision-making in online environments.