Trent N. Cash

Ph.D. Student at Carnegie Mellon University

Metareasoning in Subjective Decisions


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Collaborator: Daniel M. Oppenheimer

Overview

In recent years, there has been growing interest in the role of metacognition in decision making, thus spawning the field of metareasoning. However, the extant metareasoning literature has largely focused on reasoning tasks in which participants' metacognitive judgments can be compared to objective standards, such as accuracy or solvability. While these studies provide valuable insights about the important role that metacognition plays in objective decision making, it is unclear how these findings may generalize to the many subjective decisions – such as who to marry, which house to purchase, which college to attend, and which medical treatment to undergo – that are pervasive in decision makers’ lives and have significant impacts on their long-term happiness and well-being.  As such, this project seeks to investigate the role of metacognition in subjective decision making by exploring decision makers' metacognitive knowledge of the attributes weights they apply in subjective, multi-attribute choice decisions. This project has four central goals:
  1. To validate a novel paradigm for assessing metacognitive knowledge of attribute weights in subjective, multi-attribute choice decisions
  2. To isolate the mechanisms underlying metacognitive knowledge in subjective, multi-attribute choice decisions
  3. To identify contextual factors that promote or inhibit metacognitive knowledge in subjective, multi-attribute choice decisions
  4. To understand how limitations in metacognitive knowledge may predict common decision errors and biases, such as framing effects.

Publications

Cash, T. N., & Oppenheimer, D. M. (Under Review). Parental rights or parental wrongs: Do parents know what factors influence their school choice decisions?

Presentations 

Cash, T. N., & Oppenheimer, D. M. (2023, November). Evaluating metacognition in subjective, multi-attribute choice [Poster Session]. Annual Meeting of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making, San Francisco, CA.

Cash, T. N., & Oppenheimer, D. M. (2023, November). Evaluating metareasoning in subjective, multi-attribute choice decisions [Oral Presentation]. 64th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, San Francisco, CA.

Cash, T. N., & Oppenheimer, D. M. (2022, December). Metacognitive Knowledge of Preferences in Policy Relevant Decisions [Oral Presentation]. First Metareasoning Conference, Israel Institute for Advanced Studies, Jerusalem, Israel.

Cash, T. N., & Oppenheimer, D. M. (2022, November). Do cognitive aids improve metacognitive knowledge in school choice decisions?  [Poster Session]. Annual Meeting of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making, San Diego, CA. 
Cash, T. N., & Oppenheimer, D. M. (2022, February). How well do parents know their own preferences when making school choice decisions?  [Poster session]. Annual Meeting of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making, Virtual.

Grants

February 2023: Graduate Student Small Research Grant, Center for Behavioral and Decision Research, $2,500

July 2021: Graduate Student Small Research Grant, Center for Behavioral and Decision Research, $2,500
September 2020 (Renewed Through February 2024):  Academic Software Grant, Sawtooth Software, $12,600 (Received in kind)
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