Samuel Johnson

Dr

  • 8 WEST 3.45

Accepting PhD Students

20132018
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Personal profile

Research interests

I study the cognitive science of markets: how the minds of individuals give rise to emergent economic order. I focus on tools that consumers, investors, and voters use to process information. These tools help us to overcome our inherent cognitive limits but also lead us to make mistakes in our everyday lives.

For example, in the domain of marketing, I have looked at consumers’ lay theories of economics, particularly their zero-sum intuitions about transactions, examining marketing messages that can highlight the benefits of foreign trade. In the domain of finance, I have examined how investors – both amateur and professional – use story-telling to predict future prices. In the policy domain, I have studied moral beliefs about economic exchange, with an eye toward how we can use this knowledge to help increase the supply of transplant organs.

In addition, I carry out basic research in cognitive science, focusing on heuristics and strategies that people intuitively use to evaluate hypotheses. I find that these same principles guide very different psychological processes, including causal reasoning, categorisation, and visual perception; that they are used by young children; and that they feed into complex social processes, such as mentalising, stereotyping, and moral judgment. For this research, I was honoured to receive the 2017 Robert Glushko Dissertation Prize from the Cognitive Science Society.

To learn more about my research, please visit my website.

Willing to supervise PhD

I am interested in supervising students on a broad range of topics within the broad areas of behavioural economics, consumer psychology, and cognitive and behavioural science. More details are available on my website.

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

heuristics Social Sciences
Psychology Medicine & Life Sciences
experiment Social Sciences
evidence Social Sciences
Cognition Medicine & Life Sciences
Cues Medicine & Life Sciences
Intuition Medicine & Life Sciences
moral judgement Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2013 2018

Asymmetric use of information about past and future: Toward a narrative theory of forecasting

Johnson, S. G. B. & Tuckett, D., 15 Jul 2018, (Accepted/In press) Proceedings of the 40th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. p. 1883-1888 6 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

narrative
performance
available information
projection
decision making

Financial alchemists and financial shamans

Johnson, S. G. B., 6 Apr 2018, In : Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 41, e78.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ceremonial Behavior
Shamanism
Anthropology
Salaries and Fringe Benefits
Economics

Optimality bias in moral judgment

De Freitas, J. & Johnson, S. G. B., 2 Aug 2018, In : Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 79, p. 149-163 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
moral judgement
Malpractice
Cognition
trend
mediation

Preferences for explanation generality develop early in biology but not physics

Johnston, A. M., Sheskin, M., Johnson, S. G. B. & Keil, F. C., 14 Jul 2018, In : Child Development. 89, 4, p. 1110-1119 24 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
File
Physics
physics
biology
Ursidae
Intuition

Psychological underpinnings of zero-sum thinking

Johnson, S. G. B., Zhang, J. & Keil, F. C., 15 Aug 2018, (Accepted/In press) Proceedings of the 40th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. p. 566-571 6 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Psychological
Buyers
Seller
Economics
Purchase