Books, journal articles, book chapters, conference papers and other publications are listed below. If you would like a copy of any articles that are not available for downloading, email ben.newell@unsw.edu.au

DOI links to several papers can also be found on the UNSW Research Gateway

Copyright Notice: Some of the documents listed below are available for downloading. These have been provided as a means to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work on a noncommercial basis. Copyright and all rights therein are maintained by the authors or by other copyright holders, notwithstanding that they have offered their works here electronically. It is understood that all persons copying this information will adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. These works may not be re-posted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.


SELECTED PEER REVIEWED CONFERENCE PAPERS


Navarro, D. J., & Newell, B.R. (2014). Information versus reward in a changing world. In P. Bellow, M. Guarani, M. McShane, & B. Scassellati (Eds.). Proceedings of the 36th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp 1054-1059) Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society  PDF 
 ABSTRACT 

How do people solve the explore-exploit trade-off in a changing environment? In this paper we present experimental evidence in an “observe or bet” task, comparing human behavior in a changing environment to their behavior in an unchanging one. We present a Bayesian analysis of the observe or bet task and show that human judgments are consistent with that analysis. However, we find that people’s behavior is most consistent with a Bayesian model that assumes a rate of change that is higher than the true rate in the task. We argue that this tendency is the result of asymmetric consequences: assuming that the world changes more often than it really does is not very costly, whereas assuming a too-low rate of change can carry much more severe consequences.


Hawkins, G. E., Camilleri, A. R., Heathcote, A., Newell, B. R., & Brown, S. D. (2014). Modeling probability knowledge and choice in decisions from experience. In P. Bello, M. Guarini, M. McShane, & B. Scassellati (Eds.). Proceedings of the 36th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp 595- 600) Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society  PDF 
 ABSTRACT 

In most everyday decisions we learn about the outcomes of alternative courses of action through experience: a sampling process. Current models of these decisions from experience do not explain how the sample outcomes are used to form a representation of the distribution of outcomes. We overcome this limitation by developing a new and simple model, the Exemplar Confusion (ExCon) model. In a novel experiment, the model predicted participants’ choices and their knowledge of outcome probabilities, when choosing among multiple-outcome gambles in sampling and feedback versions of the task. The model also performed at least as well as other leading choice models when evaluated against benchmark data from the Technion Prediction Tournament. Our approach advances current understanding by proposing a psychological mechanism for how probability estimates arise rather than using estimates solely as inputs to choice models.


Newell, B.R., Kary, A., Moore, C., & Gonzalez, C. (2013). Managing our debt: Changing Context Reduces Misunderstanding of Global Warming. In Knauff M., Pauen M., Sebanz N., Wachsmuth I.(Eds) Proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp 3139-3144) Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society

Chai, H-Y., & Newell, B.R. (2013). Investing amid uncertainty - A test of the domain specific anchoring hypothesis. In Knauff M., Pauen M., Sebanz N., Wachsmuth I.(Eds) Proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp 1994-1999) Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society

Hayes, B.K., Newell, B.R., Hawkins G.(2013). Causal model and sampling approaches to reducing base rate neglect. In Knauff M., Pauen M., Sebanz N., Wachsmuth I.(Eds) Proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp 567-572) Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society

van Ravenzwaaij, D., Newell, B.R., Moore, C.P., & Lee, M.D., (2013). Using Recognition in Multi-Attribute Decision Environments. In M. Knauff, M. Pauen, N. Sebanz, & I. Wachsmuth (Eds.) Proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp 3627-3632) Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society

Schulze, C., van Ravenzwaaij, D., & Newell, B. R. (2013). Match Me if You Can: How Smart Choices are Fueled by Competition. In M. Knauff, M. Pauen, N. Sebanz, & I. Wachsmuth (Eds.), Proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp 3372-3377). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

Güney, S. & Newell, B.R. (July, 2011). The Ellsberg ‘Problem’ and Implicit Assumptions under Ambiguity. In L. Carlson, C. Holscher, & T.Shipley (Eds.) Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp 2232-2238) Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society

Camilleri, A.R. & Newell, B.R. (2011). The relevance of a probabilistic mindset in risky choice. In L. Carlson, C. Holscher, & T. Shipley (Eds.) Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp 2794-2799) Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society

Newell, B.R. & Lee, M.D. (2009). Learning to adapt evidence thresholds in decision making. In N. Taatgen, H. van Rijn, J. Nerbonne and L. Schomaker (Eds.) Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp 473-478) Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society  PDF 
 ABSTRACT 

A basic challenge in decision-making is to know how long to search for information, and how to adapt searchprocesses as performance, goals, and the nature of the task environment vary. We consider human performance on two experiments involving a sequence of simple multiple-cue decision-making trials, which allow search to be measured, and provide feedback on decision accuracy. In both experiments, the nature of the trials changes, unannounced, several times. Initially minimal search is required, then more extensive search is required, and finally only minimal search is again required to achieve decision accuracy. We find that people, considered both on aggregate, and as individuals, are sensitive to all of these changes. We discuss the theoretical implications of these findings for modeling search and decision-making, and emphasize that they show adaptation to an external error signal must be accompanied by some sort of internal self-regulation in any satisfactory account of people’s behavior.


Griffiths, O., & Newell, B.R. (2009). The Impact of Complete and Selective Feedback in Static and Dynamic Multiple-Cue Judgment Tasks. In N. Taatgen, H. van Rijn, J. Nerbonne and L. Schomaker (Eds.) Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp 2884-2889) Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society

McDonald, F.E.J., & Newell, B.R. (2009). When a coin toss does not appear random: Causal belief and judgments of randomness. In N. Taatgen, H. van Rijn, J. Nerbonne and L. Schomaker (Eds.) Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp 1581-1586) Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society

Heffernan, M., & Newell, B.R. (2009). The dual systems approach to category learning: How do people switch between systems? In N. Taatgen, H. van Rijn, J. Nerbonne and L. Schomaker (Eds.) Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp 1587-1592) Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society

Camilleri, A.R., & Newell, B.R. (2009). Within-subject Preference Reversals in Description- and Experience-based Choice. In N. Taatgen, H. van Rijn, J. Nerbonne and L. Schomaker (Eds.) Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp 449-454) Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society

Papadopoulus, C., Hayes, B.K, & Newell, B.R. (2009). Non-categorical approaches to induction with uncertain categories. In N. Taatgen, H. van Rijn, J. Nerbonne and L. Schomaker (Eds.) Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp 236-241) Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society

Newell, B.R., Collins, P., & Lee, M.D. (2007). Adjusting the spanner: Testing an evidence accumulation model of decision making. In D. McNamara and G. Trafton (Eds.) Proceedings of the 29th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum  PDF 
 ABSTRACT 

An experiment examined two aspects of performance in a multi-attribute inference task: i) the effect of stimulus presentation format (image or text) on the adoption of decision strategies; and ii) the ability of an evidence accumulation model, which unifies take-the-best (TTB) and rational(RAT) strategies, to explain participants’ judgments. Presentation format had no significant effect on strategy adoption at a group level. Individual level analysis revealed large intraparticipant consistency, including some participants who consistently changed the amount of evidence considered for a decision as a function of format, but wide inter-participant differences. A unified model captured these individual differences and was preferred to the TTB or RAT models on the basis of the minimum description length model selection criterion.


Hayes, B.K., Ruthven, C., & Newell, B.R. (2007). Inferring properties when categorization is uncertain: A feature conjunction account. In D. McNamara and G. Trafton (Eds.) Proceedings of the 29th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum

Newell, B.R., Mitchell, C.J., & Hayes, B.K. (2005). Imagining low probability events: Contrasting exemplar cuing and frequency format accounts. In B. Bara, L. Barsalou and M. Bucciarelli (Eds) Proceedings of the 27th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp 1630-1635)  PDF 
 ABSTRACT 

The extent to which a low probability event can be imagined appears to increase the weight attached to the possibility of that event occurring. Two experiments tested contrasting accounts of how this ‘imagability’ of events is enhanced. The experiments used negative (e.g. suffering the side effect of a vaccine) and positive (e.g. winning a lottery) low probability events. Both experiments found strong support for the frequency format account, whereby imagability is enhanced through the use of frequency formats for conveying statistical information (e.g., 20 out of 2000). However, only limited support was found for ‘exemplar-cuing theory’ (J.J. Koehler & L. Macchi, 2004), which proposes two distinct mechanisms for the generation of instances. Overall, the results support the claim that the imagability of outcomes plays a role in thinking about low probability events, but question the underlying mechanisms specified by exemplar cuing theory for mediating such effects.


Enkvist, T., Juslin, P., Olsson, H., & Newell, B.R. (2005). Intervention in multiple-cue judgment: Not always for the better. In B. Bara, L. Barsalou and M. Bucciarelli (Eds) Proceedings of the 27th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp 636-641)  PDF 
 ABSTRACT 

Previous studies suggest improved learning when participants actively intervene rather than passively observe the stimuli in a judgment task. In two experiments the authors investigate if this improvement generalizes to multiple cue judgment tasks where judgments may be formed from abstract knowledge of cue-criterion relations or exemplar memory. More specific hypotheses were that intervention in learning should improve performance over observation, and that improvement should be associated with a relative shift from exemplar memory to cue abstraction. In contrast to previous studies, in a multiplecue judgment task with binary cues and continuous criterion, there was poorer learning with intervention than observation, and participants actively experimenting more produced poorer judgments. The results suggest that intervention may distract from efficient exemplar encoding and improvement may be limited to tasks efficiently addressed by cue-abstraction.





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