Principal Investigator

Steven Sloman

Steve did his PhD in Psychology at Stanford University from 1986-1990 and then did post-doctoral research for two years at the University of Michigan. He is currently Editor-in-Chief of the journal Cognition. Steven is a cognitive scientist who studies how people think. He has studied how our habits of thought influence the way we see the world, how the different systems that constitute thought interact to produce conclusions, conflict, and conversation, and how our construal of how the world works influences how we evaluate events and decide what actions to take.

Graduate Students

Babak Hemmatian

Babak has a B.A. in Clinical Psychology from University of Tehran and is a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in Cognitive Science and a second-year Master's candidate in Computer Science at Brown University. He studies how individuals conceive of knowledge others have and how these perceptions affect their production and evaluation of causal explanations. To this end, he uses behavioral experiments and machine learning methods applied to large bodies of naturalistic text. 

ResearchGate Profile

Semir Tatlidil

Semir has a B.Sc. in Psychology from the University of Liverpool. He is a second year PhD student in Cognitive Science at Brown University. His overall interests fall in the domains of reasoning, thinking, decision making, and developing formal models. His current work is focusing on how people outsource moral judgements to experts in their community.

Undergraduate Researchers

Erin Bugbee

Erin is a senior at Brown concentrating in Statistics and Behavioral Decision Sciences, with a specialization in Human and Machine Learning. She is interested in how ideas from artificial intelligence and statistics can be used to better understand the mind, as well as how we can build machines that learn in human-like ways.

Maddie Dick

Maddie is a senior at Brown University concentrating in Behavioral Decision Sciences with a specialization in nudging decision making. She is interested in decision making, reasoning and applications of data science in the workplace. Her work in the Sloman Lab investigates human’s trust of algorithms in the workplace. 

Noah Jones

Noah is a third-year undergraduate pursuing a degree in Behavioral Decision Sciences. His academic interests focus on the behavioral psychology of online platforms such as social media and search engines, including topics such as an individual’s valuation of their personal data and the affordances of social media platforms to influence behavior. Currently, Noah is conducting unsupervised machine learning research to explore the discourse surrounding the public issue of gene-editing therapy. This summer, Noah will be a research assistant under Paul Slovic at the University of Oregon.


Visiting Scholars

Nat Rabb

Nat joined Sloman Lab while earning a B.A. from Brown University in psychology and philosophy and currently works as a research coordinator at Tufts University. He is interested in knowledge representation and metacognition. He has been working on the “community of knowledge” problem—the implications for individual cognition of the collective nature of knowing—since 2014.

Undergraduate Alumni

Cristina Ballarini

Cristina did her undergraduate studies at Brown, pursuing double concentrations in Cognitive Science and Philosophy. She is now a Ph.D. student in philosophy at New York University. She is primarily interested in questions concerning human reasoning and rationality. Her past work with the Sloman Lab investigated the mechanisms underlying motivated reasoning, as well as philosophy and psychology of explanation.

Julia Shube

Julia graduated from Brown with a B.A. in Cognitive Science in 2014. As an undergrad, she investigated the Illusion of Explanatory Depth and explored its connections with students' understandings of scientific processes. She earned her Masters in Secondary Math Education from City College of New York in 2015 and currently works as a math teacher at a public high school in New York City.

Eleanor Bleiberg

Ellie is a third-year undergraduate pursuing a concentration in Economics. She is interested in behavioral sciences and decision making. Her work with the Sloman Lab has investigated the effect of mechanistic explanation on people’s openness to changing their opinion. Within this topic, she is exploring the effect of values based thinking in comparison to consequentialist thinking.

Gloria Feng

Gloria is a third-year undergraduate concentrating in Behavioral Decision Science. She is interested in decision making and organizational behavior, and is currently planning to write an honors thesis on factors that influence cooperative decision making.

Chun (Renee) Hu

Chun (Renee) is a fourth-year undergraduate concentrating in psychology. She is interested in human reasoning and decision-making. Her work with the Sloman Lab has investigated the effects of mechanistic explanation on people's openness to changing their opinion. Within this topic, she explored the effect of value-based thinking in comparison to consequentialist thinking.

Luana Mattos

Luana is a second-year undergraduate pursuing a degree in Cognitive Science. She is interested in subjects such as decision-making, framing and consumer behavior. Her work in the Sloman Lab has focused on communities of knowledge, how people’s perception of their own understanding of a given topic is influenced by the knowledge of those around them, as well as on the impact of polls on how voters perform trade-offs between their political values and the outcomes they believe to be more likely.


James Verch

James is a third-year undergraduate pursuing a degree in Cognitive Neuroscience. He has broad interests in a variety of subjects, such as decision-making, emotion, visual and verbal styles of thought, abstraction, and the neural correlates of cognition. His work in the Sloman Lab has focused on how people make judgments on political issues. Specifically, he is exploring the effect of a community of knowledge: how other people's understanding of an issue affects my own understanding and decision-making.


Graduate Alumni

Phillip Fernbach

Phil Fernbach is an assistant professor of marketing in the Leeds School of Business. He holds a Ph.D. from Brown University in cognitive science and a B.A. from Williams College where he studied philosophy. His research interests span many areas of consumer behavior including causal reasoning, probability judgment, financial decision-making, and moral judgment.

Gideon Goldin

Gideon earned his B.S. in Engineering and Linguistics before receiving a Masters in Human-Computer Interaction and a Ph.D. in Cognitive Science. He has served as a university lecturer, a visualization consultant, and he currently leads user experience design for software startups.

Adam Darlow

Ju-Hwa Park

Post Doc Alumni

Silvia Gennari

David Lagnado

Emanuel Robinson

 Clare Walsh

Jeffrey Zemla