Research

My main research area involves reasoning. I am intrigued by rationality (or irrationality) of human thought and human biases. I subscribe to the notion that humans generally make rational thoughts and decisions to meet everyday goals; I do not fully accept the idea of normative rationality (see Evans, 2014). I am also a strong supporter of dual-process thinking theories and the dichotomy of automatic vs. controlled processes.

Currently, I study reasoning in two ways:

(1) the process of conflict detection within the realm of dual process thinking. That is, when and how is more effortful thinking engaged when automatic processes might be leading the decision-maker astray? What are the individual differences associated with this phenomenon? Can biased (or unbiased) thinkers be categorized by their behaviors?

(2) the role of beliefs in the reasoning process. As a graduate student at California State University, Northridge, I specifically studied the belief bias effect in syllogistic reasoning. Do people alter their reasoning to fit their current belief system? Is an argument valid if the conclusion is believable? I also study the differences between political liberals and conservatives in this context. At UCSB, I’ve also studied knowledge updating within the framework of logical reasoning, or how a person decides to either keep or alter an existing knowledge set.

Current Projects:

  1. Conflict detection on base-rate neglect problems and conditional reasoning problems within a Dual-Process Framework
  2. Studying #1 using eye-tracking methodology
  3. Human biases and beliefs associated with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality test (take a peek at the test here: Myers-Briggs Foundation)


Peer-Reviewed Publications (Titles are downloadable PDFs)

Swan, A. B., & Revlin, R. (2015). Inhibition failure is mediated by a disposition toward flexible thinking. In D. C. Noelle, R. Dale, A. S. Warlaumont, J. Yoshimi, T. Matlock, C. D. Jennings, & P. P. Maglio (Eds.), Proceedings of the 37th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 2314-2319). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

Barrett, M. E., Swan, A. B., Mamikonian, A., Ghajoyan, I., Kramarova, O., & Youmans, R. J. (2014). Technology in note taking and assessment: The effects of congruence on student performance. International Journal of Instruction, 7(1), 51-60.

Swan, A. B., Cohen, A., Evans, S. R., & Drescher, B. A. (2013). Influence of taste quality on affective state. Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research, 18(2), 61-66.

Swan, A. B., Chambers, A. Y., & Revlin, R. (2013). Scope of real beliefs in belief revision. In M. Knauff, M. Pauen, N. Sebanz, & I. Wachsmuth (Eds.), Proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 1414-1419). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

Recent Conference Presentations (*denotes undergraduate student researcher)

Swan, A. B., *Spears, M., *Zamanzadeh, R., & Revlin, R. (2016, November). It’s about the stereotype until it’s not: Confirmatory evidence from eye movements on base-rate neglect judgments. Poster presented at the 57th annual meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Boston, MA.

Swan, A. B., *Hill, A., & Revlin, R. (2015, November). Is a picture worth a thousand numbers? The effect of base-rate images in a base-rate neglect task. Poster presented at the 56th annual meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Chicago, IL.

Swan, A. B., & Revlin, R. (2015, July). Inhibition failure is mediated by a disposition toward flexible thinking. Poster presented at the 37th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Pasadena, CA.

Swan, A. B., & Revlin, R. (2014, November). Knowledge updating and the visual impedance effect. Poster presented at the 55th annual meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Long Beach, CA.

Swan, A. B., Chambers, A. Y., & Revlin, R. (2013, August). Scope of real beliefs in belief revision. Paper presented at the 35th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Berlin, Germany.

Swan, A. B., Revlin, R., & Rutchick, A. M. (2012, May). Working memory and the belief bias effect in political arguments. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, Chicago, IL.



Become an RA!

I am currently in transition from UCSB to a new academic research setting. I will not be accepting new research assistants for the time being. However, my new lab will be called the Reasoning and Decision-Making Lab (RAD-M Lab). I’m a fan of cool acronyms. A cool logo for the lab will follow once I’m settled in a new location.