Ben Newell

Professor of Cognitive Psychology and ARC Future Fellow, School of Psychology, University of New South Wales





News & Links

Straight Choices

Media Coverage

Useful Links

News about research and useful links can be found below.

Go HERE to see Ben discussing his paper co-authored with Prof Andy Pitman on the psychology of global warming.

Go HERE and search for Ben Newell to read pieces on the psychology of climate change and articles on Intution and priming written by Ben for the online newspaper The Conversation.

Straight Choices (2nd Edition)

Straight Choices: The Psychology of Decision Making (Second Edition) was co-authored by Ben Newell, David Lagnado and David Shanks, and released in 2015 by Psychology Press.

Praise for the Second Edition

This excellent book is a rare combination - an enjoyable read that beginners will like and a serious text that scholars will study.”

- Daniel Kahneman, Professor of Psychology, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University, USA.

The perfect introduction to the latest developments in the fascinating field of judgment and decision making, setting classic findings and latest research firmly in the wider context of current thinking in the behavioural and cognitive sciences.”

- Nick Chater, Professor of Behavioural Science, Warwick Business School.

As a student, tyring to find my way, I often wished for an accessible introudction to decision science, from the classic through the reigning paradigms to the cutting edge. Straight Choices is that book. Student or seasonsed researcher, the reader willl appreicate this fresh, highly readable narrative, which interweaves the psychology of decision making with insights from cognitive science.”

- Ralph Hertwig, Director of the Center for Adaptive Rationality, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin.

Praise for the First Edition

Straight Choices captures the excitement and innovative nature of research into decision making in everyday life and leaves the reader hungry to learn more. It is a remarkable springboard into understanding what we know and to developing one’s own decision making skills.”

- Robin M. Hogarth, ICREA Research Professor, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona.

What distinguishes this book is not only its clear and lucid style, but also that it covers a number of new and emerging areas. It not only provides a good basis for understanding contemporary theory and research, but also includes important pointers to the ways the area is likely to develop over the next few years.”

- A. John Maule, Professor of Human Decision Making, Leeds University Business School.

Straight Choices


We all face a perplexing array of decisions every day. Straight Choices provides an integrative account of the psychology of decision making, in which clear connections are made between empirical results and how these results can help us to understand our uncertain world.

Throughout the text, there is an emphasis on the relationship between learning and decision making. The authors argue that the best way to understand how and why decisions are made is in the context of the learning and knowledge acquisition that precedes them and the feedback that follows them. The mechanisms of learning and the structure of environments in which decisions are made are carefully examined to explore the ways in which they act on our choices. From this, the authors go on to consider whether we are all constrained to fall prey to biases or whether with sufficient exposure can we find optimal decision strategies and improve our decision making.

This novel approach integrates findings from the decision and learning literatures to provide a unique perspective on the psychology of decision making. It will be of interest to researchers and students in cognitive psychology, as well as researchers in economics and philosophy interested in the nature of decision making.

The book is available from Amazon.

Media Coverage

Read articles in TIME magazine and The Independent on our paper Think, Blink, or Sleep on it? The impact of modes of thought on complex decision making published in QJEP..

Go here to see some fun tips on how to improve your decision making courtesy of BBC Horizon.

Read an articles in The Sydney Morning Herald discussing the Newell & Pitman paper on the Psychology of Global Warming.

Useful Links

Go here to access a Special Issue of Judgment and Decision Making on Cognitive Models of Multi-attribute Judgment and Decision Making. Guest Edited by Arndt Bröder and Ben R. Newell.

Go here to access the Special Issue of Journal of Behavioral Decision Making on Experience-Based Decision Making. Guest Edited by Tim Rakow and Ben R. Newell.

University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Website last updated: July 2015