Dirk Wulff

Dirk Wulff
University of Basel & Max Planck Institute for Human Development · Center for Cognitive and Decision Science (CDS) & Center for Adaptive Rationality (ARC)

PhD

About

57
Publications
28,180
Reads
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830
Citations
Citations since 2016
51 Research Items
818 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250

Publications

Publications (57)
Preprint
Full-text available
To make profitable investment decisions, investors must know and understand their risks. They can learn about these risks in different ways. Evidence suggests that investors who learn from a “risk tool” simulator perceive financial risk more accurately, feel more informed and confident, and thus take on more financial risk. We attempt a conceptual...
Preprint
Are decisions associated with risk and uncertainty made differently across the life span? In this preregistered study we performed a multiverse analysis to exhaustively examine age effects on risk preference, impulsivity, and low self-control using different assessment modalities (N=148, 55% female, 16-81 years, mean age=46 years, SD=19). The main...
Article
Full-text available
What are the defining features of lay people’s semantic representation of risk? We contribute to mapping the semantics of risk based on word associations to provide insight into both universal and individual differences in the representation of risk. Specifically, we introduce a mini-snowball word association paradigm and use the tools of network a...
Article
We investigate a novel link between self-concept clarity and social decision making performance. Drawing on theories of goal pursuit and the self, we posit that self-concept clarity, a concept combining the organization and accessibility of self-related memory representations, can be linked to better decision making performance in situations invol...
Article
Full-text available
We report data from a proof-of-concept study involving the concurrent assessment of large-scale individual semantic networks and cognitive performance. The data include10,800 free associations—collected using a dedicated web-based platform over the course of several weeks—and responses to several cognitive tasks, including verbal fluency, episodic...
Article
Full-text available
People undergo many idiosyncratic experiences throughout their lives that may contribute to individual differences in the size and structure of their knowledge representations. Ultimately, these can have important implications for individuals' cognitive performance. We review evidence that suggests a relationship between individual experiences, the...
Preprint
Full-text available
Science communication is changing. It is increasingly directed not only at peers but at the public in general. Accordingly, understanding the circumstances under which audience members engage with scientific content is crucial to improving science communication. In this article, we investigate the role of affect on audience engagement with a modern...
Preprint
Full-text available
Movement tracking is a novel process tracing method promising unique access to the temporal dynamics of cognitive processes. The method involves high-resolution tracking of the hand or handheld devices, e.g., a computer mouse, while they are used to make a choice. In contrast to other process tracing methods, which mostly focus on information acqui...
Article
Full-text available
The modern world holds countless risks for humanity, both large-scale and intimately personal—from cyberwarfare, pandemics, and climate change to sexually transmitted diseases and drug use and abuse. Many risks have prompted institutional, regulatory, and technological countermeasures, the success of which depends to some extent on how individuals...
Article
Full-text available
BACKGROUND Intraoperative arterial hypotension is strongly associated with postoperative major adverse cardio- vascular events (MACE); however, whether targeting higher intraoperative mean arterial blood pressures (MAPs) may prevent adverse events remains unclear. OBJECTIVES This study sought to determine whether targeting higher intraoperative MAP...
Preprint
Full-text available
Monitoring progress on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is important for both academic and non-academic organizations. Existing approaches to monitoring SDGs have focused on specific data types, namely, publications listed in proprietary research databases. We present the text2sdg R package, a user-friendly, open-source packa...
Preprint
Full-text available
There is great theoretical and applied interest in understanding the psychology of risk-but what are defining features of lay people's semantic representation of this concept? We contribute a new approach to mapping the semantics of risk based on word associations that promises to provide insight into individual and group differences. Specifically,...
Preprint
Full-text available
We report data from a proof-of-concept study involving the concurrent assessment of large-scale individual semantic networks and cognitive performance. The data include 10,800 free associations-collected using a dedicated web-based platform over the course of 2-4 weeks-and responses to several cognitive tasks, including verbal fluency, episodic mem...
Preprint
Full-text available
People undergo many idiosyncratic experiences throughout their lives that may contribute to individual differences in the size and structure of their knowledge representations. Ultimately, these can have important implications for individuals' cognitive performance. We review evidence that suggests a relationship between individual experiences, the...
Preprint
Full-text available
We compare three sequential sampling models, the Race model, the leaky competing accumulator model (LCA) and the drift diffusion model (DDM), as novel computational accounts of choices and response times in semantic relatedness decisions. We focus on two empirical benchmarks, the relatedness effect, denoting faster ”related” than ”unrelated” decisi...
Article
Full-text available
Governments use taxes to discourage undesired behaviors and encourage desired ones. One target of such interventions is reckless behavior, such as texting while driving, which in most cases is harmless but sometimes leads to catastrophic outcomes. Past research has demonstrated how interventions can backfire when the tax on one reckless behavior is...
Article
Full-text available
We improve instability-based methods for the selection of the number of clusters k in cluster analysis by developing a corrected clustering distance that corrects for the unwanted influence of the distribution of cluster sizes on cluster instability. We show that our corrected instability measure outperforms current instability-based measures acros...
Preprint
Full-text available
The modern world holds countless risks for humanity, both large-scale and intimately personal—from cyber warfare, pandemics, and climate change to sexually transmitted diseases and drug use and abuse. Many risks have prompted institutional, regulatory, and technological countermeasures, the success of which depends to some extent on how individuals...
Preprint
Full-text available
Governments often use taxes to discourage undesired behaviors or encourage desired ones. One target of such interventions are reckless behaviors such as texting while driving, which in most cases are harmless but sometimes lead to catastrophic outcomes. Past research has demonstrated how interventions can backfire when taxes for specific options ar...
Article
Full-text available
Natural motor behavior is usually refined by ongoing sensory input in closed feedback loops. Research has suggested that humans make systematic errors when localizing touch on the skin, and that perceptual body representations underlying these behaviors are distorted. However, experimental procedures usually prevent participants from touching the t...
Preprint
Full-text available
Memory search has long been pictured as taking place on a high-dimensional landscape. However, if people are able to cut corners in this landscape by dynamically shifting attention between the space's dimensions to connect distant locations, then this may give rise to wormholes in memory much like those of Einstein-Rosen in external space. Alternat...
Article
Full-text available
The field of cognitive aging has seen considerable advances in describing the linguistic and semantic changes that happen during the adult life span to uncover the structure of the mental lexicon (i.e., the mental repository of lexical and conceptual representations). Nevertheless, there is still debate concerning the sources of these changes, incl...
Article
Full-text available
Network science provides a set of quantitative methods to investigate complex systems, including human cognition. Although cognitive theories in different domains are strongly based on a network perspective, the application of network science methodologies to quantitatively study cognition has so far been limited in scope. This review demonstrates...
Article
Full-text available
The field of cognitive aging has seen considerable advances in describing the linguistic and semantic changes that happen during the adult life span to uncover the structure of the mental lexicon (i.e., the mental repository of lexical and conceptual representations). Nevertheless, there is still debate concerning the sources of these changes, incl...
Preprint
Full-text available
Many natural behaviors involve closed feedback loops in which ongoing sensory input refines motor behavior. Previous research on tactile localization, however, has implemented localization as open-loop behavior. For instance, participants indicate a touched position on a silhouette shape of the body or on an occluding board mounted above the hand....
Preprint
Full-text available
We investigate a novel link between self-concept and social decision making. Motivated by theories of evolutionary psychology and memory representation, we posit that self-concept clarity, a concept combining the organization and accessibility of self-related memory representations, can promote better decision making in situations involving other p...
Preprint
Full-text available
The field of cognitive aging has seen considerable advances in describing the linguistic and semantic changes that happen during the adult life span to uncover the structure of the mental lexicon (i.e., the mental repository of lexical and conceptual representations). Nevertheless, there is still debate concerning the sources of these changes, incl...
Code
Efficient implementations of network science tools to facilitate research into human (semantic) memory. In its current version, the package contains several methods to infer networks from verbal fluency data, various network growth models, diverse (switcher-) random walk processes, and tools to analyze and visualize networks. To deliver maximum per...
Preprint
Full-text available
Mouse-tracking – the analysis of mouse movements in computerized experiments – is becoming increasingly popular in psychological research. Mouse movements are taken as an indicator of commitment to or conflict between choice options during the decision process. Using mouse-tracking, researchers have gained insight into the temporal development of c...
Preprint
Full-text available
Cognitive science invokes semantic networks to explain diverse phenomena from reasoning to memory retrieval and creativity. While diverse approaches are available, researchers commonly assume a single underlying semantic network that is shared across individuals. Yet, semantic networks are considered the product of experience implying that individu...
Preprint
Full-text available
Dieser Artikel gibt eine Einführung in das „Description-Experience Gap“ – der Beobachtung eines systematischen Unterschieds in Risikoentschei- dungen aufgrund symbolischer Beschreibungen bzw. sequentieller Erfah- rungen. Die „Kluft“ wird besonders deutlich bei seltenen Ereignissen, die zu viel Gewicht (Beschreibung) bzw. zu wenig Gewicht (Erfahrung...
Preprint
Risk preference is one of the most important building blocks of choice theories in the behavioural sciences. In economics, it is often conceptualised as preferences concerning variance of monetary payoffs, whereas in psychology risk preference is often thought to capture the propensity to engage in behaviour with the potential for loss or harm. Bot...
Article
Full-text available
We improve current instability-based methods for the selection of the number of clusters k in cluster analysis by developing a normalized cluster instability measure that corrects for the distribution of cluster sizes, a previously unaccounted driver of cluster instability. We show that our normalized instability measure outper- forms current insta...
Preprint
Full-text available
Mouse- and hand-tracking has become a popular method for studying the cognitive processes involved in a variety of domains, including language processing, memory functions, social cognition, and preferential and moral decision making, to name just a few. The popularity of mouse- and hand-tracking derives from its promise to provide a window into th...
Preprint
Full-text available
This chapter is a somewhat odd addition in a Handbook of Process-Tracing Methods. We will not revel at the ever growing and ever more sophisticated methods to trace processes nor will we conceive of still another technology. Nevertheless, our concern will be with “information search prior to choice”—the object of desire of what Schulte-Mecklenbeck...
Preprint
Full-text available
Network science provides a set of quantitative methods to investigate complex systems, including human cognition. Although cognitive theories in different domains are strongly based on a network perspective, the application of network science methodologies to quantitatively study cognition has so far been limited in scope. This review demonstrates...
Article
Full-text available
Risk preference is one of the most important building blocks of choice theories in the behavioural sciences. In economics, it is often conceptualized as preferences concerning the variance of monetary payoffs, whereas in psychology, risk preference is often thought to capture the propensity to engage in behaviour with the potential for loss or harm...
Article
Full-text available
In a recent article, Ericsson and colleagues (2015) compared traditional utility-discounting models with a set of heuristic models of intertemporal choice using a cross-validation approach. Consistent with earlier reports, Ericsson and colleagues concluded that heuristic models (specifically their novel intertemporal choice heuristic or ITCH model)...
Article
Full-text available
People can learn about the probabilistic consequences of their actions in two ways: One is by consulting descriptions of an action’s consequences and probabilities (e.g., reading up on a medication’s side effects). The other is by personally experiencing the probabilistic consequences of an action (e.g., beta testing software). In principle, people...
Article
Botulinum toxin was shown to be effective in treatment of chronic migraine. We wanted to explore its efficacy and tolerability in chronic application under real-life conditions. For this, 27 consecutive patients (age 45.6 ± 10.8 years, 25 females, 2 males) received altogether 176 injection series (IS) with 189.7 ± 45.8MU onabotulinumtoxinA (Botox®)...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
How does the mental lexicon, the network of learned words in our semantic memory, change in old age? To address this question, we employ a new network inference method to infer networks from verbal fluency data of a group of younger and older adults. We find that older adults produce more unique words in verbal fluency tasks than younger adults. In...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
How does the mental lexicon, the network of learned words in our semantic memory, change in old age? To address this question, we employ a new network inference method to infer networks from verbal fluency data of a group of younger and older adults. We find that older adults produce more unique words in verbal fluency tasks than younger adults. In...
Article
Full-text available
Botulinum toxin was shown to be effective in treatment of chronic migraine. We wanted to explore its efficacy and tolerability in chronic application under real-life conditions. For this, 27 consecutive patients (age 45.6 ± 10.8 years, 25 females, 2 males) received altogether 176 injection series (IS) with 189.7 ± 45.8MU onabotulinumtoxinA (Botox(®...
Article
Full-text available
What are the cognitive mechanisms underlying subjective valuations formed on the basis of sequential experiences of an option’s possible outcomes? Ashby and Rakow (2014) have proposed a sliding window model (SWIM), according to which people’s valuations represent the average of a limited sample of recent experiences (the size of which is estimated...
Article
Full-text available
To what extent do people adapt their information search policies and subsequent decisions to the long- and short-run consequences of choice environments? To address this question, we investigated exploration and exploitation policies in choice environments that involved single or multiple plays. We further compared behavior in these environments wi...
Article
People can access information about choices in at least two ways: via summary descriptions that provide an overview of potential outcomes and their likelihood of occurrence or via sequential presentation of outcomes. Provided with the former, people make decisions from description; with the latter, they make decisions from experience. Recent invest...

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Projects

Projects (5)
Project
The goal of this project is to evaluate and develop methodologies for movement tracking. Movement tracking is a novel process tracing method involving the high-resolution tracking of the hand or handheld devices, e.g., a computer mouse, while they are used to make a choice. Better than other process tracing methods, movement tracking is able to reveal the cognitive dynamics underlying information integration and preference formation.
Project
People can learn about the probabilistic consequences of their actions in two ways: One is by consulting descriptions of an action’s consequences and probabilities (e.g., reading up on a medication’s side effects). The other is by personally experiencing the probabilistic consequences of an action (e.g., beta testing software). In principle, people taking each route can reach analogous states of knowledge and consequently make analogous decisions. In the last dozen years, however, research has demonstrated systematic discrepancies between description- and experienced-based choices. This description‒experience gap has been attributed to factors including reliance on a small set of experience, the impact of recency, and different weighting of probability information in the two decision types. This project is dedicated to studying the cognitive and statistical mechanisms behind experienced-based decision makings and their implications for model building and risk communication.