User:Alexander L. Davis

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Contact Info

Alexander L. Davis
Alexander L. Davis

I work in Social and Decision Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University. I learned about OpenWetWare from Wikipedia and John Miller. My main interest is creativity and hypothesis generation with respect to normative, descriptive, and prescriptive decision-making, focusing on scientific decisions.

Education (CV)

  • 2012, PhD, Carnegie Mellon University, Behavioral Decision Research
  • 2009, MS, Carnegie Mellon University, Behavioral Decision Research
  • 2007, BS, Northern Arizona University, Psychology

Research Interests and Lab Notebooks

Psychology of Methodology

What are the important psychological aspects of designing, implementing, interpreting, and reporting experimental research?

Surprises, Error, and Data Sharing

To what degree are unexpected data attributed to methodological error in foresight and hindsight, and how does this relate to decisions to share the data?

Incentives, Error, and Data Sharing (Lab Notebook) (pdf)

(Data and Materials)

Human Altruism

How do humans behave when they can prevent harm to others by incurring it on themselves?

Generosity Across Contexts (Lab Notebook) (pdf)

Are Preferences for Harming Others Rational? (Lab Notebook) (pdf)

Human Behavior and Electricity Consumption

What are the cognitive and motivational factors involved in understanding one's electricity consumption?

Breeding Orchids

Methodology of Psychology

How can prescriptive approaches to scientific research help our cognitive and social limitations? I'm writing a book. Not sure what to call it yet. I'll make it available, for free, and I'd very much appreciate comments, critiques, suggestions or whatever. Since it is free, if you feel inclined to show your gratitude to me financially, I suggest donating to or your favorite charity.

Breeding Orchids

Human and Artificial Intelligence

How can human performance be elucidated by comparing it to modern artificial intelligence methods. For examaple, how does human knowledge representation compare to an ontology? Applications include drug discovery.

The File-Drawer Problem (Dissertation)

Do we share data when we should?

The File-Drawer Problem

Courses I want to make


My take on everything you need to know to complete an experimental research project.


Adaptive pretesting: Adaptive design for pretesting: How can we use adaptive design to develop very strong experiments efficiently? We may want to test our auxiliary assumptions 'online' until they converge into a reasonable risk level. Stats for Social Sciences: Rest assured there will be no p-values. Cohen et al, applied regression Advanced Stats: Rest assured there will be no p-values. Cosma's Class; Bayesian Data Analysis; Gelman and Hill; Intro to Cognitive Psychology: Human thinking, reasoning, perception, etc. Intro to Social Psychology: Motivation, social cognition, etc. Intro to Experimental Economics: Real human behavior in microeconomics and game theory. Kagel and Roth: Handbook of Expeirmental Economics; Plott and Smith: Handbook of experiment economics results Computer Science for Social Sciences: Python, Octave, R; Stats; Complexity Theory; Sipser: Introduction to the theory of computation Decision Theory: Raiffa; Levi? Seidenfeld; Savage; Ramsey; Berger: Statistical Decision Theory and Bayesian Analysis; Gilboa: Theory of decision under uncertainty; Pratt and Raiffa: Statistical Decision Theory; Kadane (2011; pg. 1-4) has a nice demonstration of how to be a dutch bookie. Behavioral Decision Research: Normative, Descriptive, Prescriptive; Poulton; K&T; von Winterfeldt and Edwards; Raiffa and Tversky: Decision-Making; Gigerenzer: Adaptive Thinking Game Theory: Von Neumann and Morgenstern; Luce and Raiffa: Games and Decisions Behavioral Game Theory: Camerer: Behavioral Game Theory; Builds on Decision Theory with empirical evidence. Prereqs: Decision theory; stats Computational Cognitive Science: Covers three of the most successful computational models: ACT-R; Church; Connectionist; Anderson: How can the mind exist? Psychology of Science: Herb Simon; Gorman; Klahr; Wason; Klayman and Ha;Carruthers, Stich and Siegal: The cognitive basis of science Philosophy of Science: Peirce; Carnap; Wittgenstein; Quine; Duhem; Lakatos; Kuhn; Popper; Van Bovens and Hartmann; Mayo; Suppes; Machine Learning: MacKay: information theory, inference and learning algorithms; Hastie, Tibshirani and Friedman: The elements of statistical learning; Bishop: Pattern recognition and Machine Learning


  1. Preparing for smart grid technologies: A behavioral decision research approach to understanding consumer expectations about smart meters [Paper1]

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