Trent N. Cash

Ph.D. Student at Carnegie Mellon University


My name is Trent N. Cash and I'm a 4th-year Joint Ph.D. student in the Department of Social and Decision Sciences and the Department of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University. My research largely evaluates the role of metacognition in judgment and decision making – a domain known as metareasoning.

My primary line of research focuses on the role of metacognition in subjective, multi-attribute choice decisions – such as choosing colleges, buying houses, or selecting romantic partners. I am particularly interested in understanding the degree to which decision makers have metacognitive knowledge of the factors that influence their decisions and exploring contexts that may promote or inhibit this knowledge. My current focus is on validating a novel paradigm (rooted in Choice-Based Conjoint Analysis) for assessing metacognitive knowledge in subjective decisions.
In a second line of research, I study the metacognitive decisions that individuals make about when to give up on difficult tasks. I am particularly interested in these decisions when there is a direct and salient opportunity cost for persistence (e.g., the participant could make money by completing a different, easier task). I am currently focused on evaluating whether individuals who exhibit Growth Mindsets – the belief that they can always improve as long as they keep trying – are likely to over-persist, even when giving up would be optimal.
Outside of metareasoning, I have another line of research in which I evaluate the academic, social, and emotional development of gifted students. Currently, this line of research is focused on a 4-year longitudinal study (data collected 2019-2022) evaluating the differential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on gifted and non-identified students.

Finally, I am initiating a new line of research exploring the inferences that decision makers generate when others choose not to disclose optional information about themselves in a competitive context. My current work in this space focuses on the inferences that college admissions officers make when applicants opt out of submitting standardized test scores (e.g., ACTs, SATs).

To learn more about the research I am working on right now, check out my Publications and Projects.


Trent N. Cash

Ph.D. Student


Department of Social and Decision Sciences; Department of Psychology

Carnegie Mellon University


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