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Research Overview

My research interests focus on judgment and decision making (JDM).  Given that so many topics in psychology are related to JDM it makes it look as though I work on many different topics. Actually, I see a simple theme across all my research. I am interested in how people make judgments and what influences their decisions and choices.

An example of JDM is choice under risk and uncertainty. We study the drivers of risky behavior. This research has taking me to many different domains, including mathematical models, empirical work to test models about risky behavior, and brain imaging studies. A noteworthy project examines the role of stress on risky decisions, using three methods in the same study: a psychopharmacological intervention (hydrocortisone administration), brain imaging, and behavioral modeling. I’m currently studying judgments of well-being, particularly in older adults, and embarking on a new project examining risky behavior in adolescents using predictors from longitudinal data collected when these participants were age 3 and 6.

When a scientist collects data, he or she has to evaluate the evidence, make decisions and possibly revise their beliefs. So the problem of analyzing data is, to me at least, another problem in JDM. I dabble in statistical models. We have made  contributions to models of dyadic processes, extended multidimensional scaling to include random effect terms, made contributions in testing parameters in structural equations models, and extended measures of ordinal correlation. Current statistical interests of mine are getting a better handle on mediation models, finding betters ways of testing interactions between predictor variables, the role of Bayesian statistics in psychology, and general analytic methods in brain imaging. I also focus on developing new experimental design and experimental methods.

I have always been interest in applications of my research. This goes back to some early work I did in how witnesses to a crime select a suspect from a police lineup. We compared the lineup to a common procedure used by police where they present only one suspect to the witness and ask “Is that him?” (called a showup).  Is the JDM process different for a binary choice or a choice among many options? We could have done this research with boring true/false and multiple choice questions, but we compared showups and lineups. The research became much more exciting with direct application to an important real-world problem. The findings were somewhat surprising to the field of eyewitness identification. Current areas of application of JDM models and paradigms are in medical decision making.

A recent JDM interest has been in the general area of design science. How can we leverage the models and major results from the field of JDM into design, engineering, marketing and related fields to improve innovation and product design? This effort has led to a new PhD program in Design Science at the University of Michigan, co-founded and co-led with Panos Papalambros. A major research line in this area is the development and exploration of design heuristics, which are tools to facilitate the exploration of the design space. We hope design heuristics will become a useful aid in generating creative and innovative ideas, designs, products and services. Our current research is targetted to design of products from both an engineering design and an industrial design perspective.

Recent Publications (Since 2009; Complete CV)

Petiot, J-F., Salvo, C., Hossoy, I., Gonzalez, R., & Papalambros, P. (2009). A cross-cultural study of users’ craftsmanship perceptions in vehicle interior design. International Journal of Product Development, 7, 28-46. doi:10.1504/IJPD.2009.022275

Biele, G., Rieskamp, J., & Gonzalez, R. (2009). Computational models for the combination of advice and individual learning. Cognitive Science, 33, 206-42. doi:10.1111/j.1551-6709.2009.01010.x

Yoon, C., Gonzalez, R., & Bettman, J. (2009). Using fMRI to inform marketing research: Challenges and opportunities. Journal of Marketing Research, 46, 17-19.

MacDonald, E., Gonzalez, R. & Papalambros, P. (2009). Preference inconsistency in multidisciplinary design decision making. Journal of Mechanical Design, 131, 1-13. doi:10.1115/1.3066526

Gonzalez, R. (2009). Transactions and statistical modeling: Developmental theory wagging the statistical tail. A. Sameroff (Ed), Transactional Processes in Development: How children and contexts shape each other. American Psychological Association Books: Washington, 223-245.

Sacharin, V., Lee, F., & Gonzalez, R. (2009). Identities in harmony? Gender-work identity integration moderates frame-switching in cognitive processing. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 33, 275-284. doi:10.1111/j.1471-6402.2009.01500.x

Gonzalez, R. & Griffin, D. (2009). Dyadic data analysis. Edited by H. Reiss and S. Sprechter, Encyclopedia of Human Relations, Sage: Thousand Oaks, CA, 471-74.

Chua, H., Gonzalez, R., Taylor, S., & Liberzon, I. (2009). Neural bases of regret and disappointment. An fMRI study of emotions and decision making. NeuroImage, 47, 2031-2040. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2009.06.006PMid:19524050

MacDonald, E., Gonzalez, R., & Papalambros, P. (2009). Construction of preference for crux and sentinel product attributes. Journal of Engineering Design, 20, 609-626. doi:10.1080/09544820802132428

Chavez, A. & Gonzalez, R. (2009). Visualizing data, visualizing models: Getting priorities right when analyzing data. Problemy Zarzadzania, 7, nr 4 (26), 185-199.

Gonzalez, R. & Liberzon, I. (2010). Decision making under risk and stress: Developing a testable model. In Kornguth, S., Steinberg, R., & Matthews, M., (Eds), Neurocognitive and Physiological Factors During High-Tempo Operations. Ashgate Press, UK.

Gonzalez, R. & Berman, M. (2010). The value of brain imaging in psychological research. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 42, 111-119. doi:10.3724/SP.J.1041.2010.00111

Berman, M., Park, J., Gonzalez, R., Polk, T., Gehrke, A., Knaffla, S., & Jonides, J. (2010). Evaluating functional localizers; The case of the FFA. NeuroImage, 50, 56-71. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2009.12.024PMid:20025980

Na, J., Grossman, I., Varnum, M., Kitayama, S., Gonzalez, R., & Nisbett, R. (2010). Cultural differences are not always reducible to individual differences. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107, 6192-6197. doi:10.1073/pnas.1001911107 PMid:20308553

Yilmaz, S., Gonzalez, R., & Seifert, C. (2010). Cognitive heuristics in design: Instructional strategies to increase creativity in idea generation. Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis, and Manufacturing, 24, 335-56. doi:10.1017/S0890060410000235

Stern, E., Gonzalez, R., Welsh, R., & Taylor, S. (2010). Deliberation and decision: Neural correlates of uncertainty and underconfidence. Journal of Neuroscience, 30(23), 8032-8041. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4729-09.2010 PMid:20534851

Reid, T., Gonzalez, R., & Papalambros, P. (2010). Quantification of perceived environmental friendliness for vehicle silhouette design. Journal of Mechanical Design, 132, 101010-1 to 101010-12. doi:10.1115/1.4002290

Franks, M., Lucas, T., Stephens, M., Rook, K., & Gonzalez, R. (2010). Diabetes distress and depressive symptoms: A dyadic investigation of older patients and their spouses. Family Relations, 59, 599-610. doi:10.1111/j.1741-3729.2010.00626.x

Ersal (Hossoy), I., Papalambros, P., Gonzalez, R., & Aitken, T. (2011). Modeling customer perceptions of craftsmanship in vehicle interior design. Journal of Engineering Design, 22, 129-144. doi:10.1080/09544820903095219

Berman, M., Nee, D., Casement, M., Kim, H., Deldin, P., Kross, E., Gonzalez, R., Gotlib, I., Hamilton, P., Joorman, J., Waugh, C., & Jonides, J. (2011). Neural and behavioral effects of interference resolution in depression and rumination. Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience, 11, 85-96.  doi:10.3758/s13415-010-0014-x

Sacharin, V., Gonzalez, R. & Andersen, J. (2011). Object and user levels of analysis in design: The impact of emotions on implicit and explicit preferences for ’green’ products. Journal of Engineering Design, 22, 217-234. doi:10.1080/09544820903158850

Sripada, C., Gonzalez, R., Phan, K. L. & Liberzon, I. (In Press). The neural correlates of intertemporal decision-making: Contributions of subjective value, stimulus type, and trait impulsivity. Human Brain Mapping.

Gonzalez, R., Yu, T., & Volling, B. (In press). Analysis of experimental and quasi-experimental data. In Handbook of Developmental Research Methods, Laursen, Little, & Card (Eds). Guilford Publications: New York.

Feinberg, F. & Gonzalez, R. (In press). Bayesian statistics. Handbook of Research Methods, New York: American Psychological Association.

Gonzalez, R. & Griffin, D. (In press). Dyadic data analysis. Handbook of Research Methods, New York: American Psychological Association.

Griffin, D. & Gonzalez, R. Endowment and contrast: A lens for happiness research. (In press). In I. Boniwell and S. David (Ed.), Oxford Handbook of Happiness. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.