Uncertainty and learning

Uncertainty is ubiquitous

Some things in life are completely predictable (death and taxes), but many things are not (happiness, wealth, safety). It would be wonderful if we were able to know which parts of the world are predictable and which are not, so that we could spend our effort only trying to figure out the knowable parts of it. But unfortunately we have to infer which parts of the world are predictable from our experience, and we sometimes make mistakes (e.g. problem gambling and superstitious thinking). This project looks at when learning about predictability goes awry, and the biases in learning and attention that may underlie these errors.


Oren Griffiths, Anna Thorwart, Tom Beesley, David Luque


You can access the raw data here


Griffiths, O., & Le Pelley, M. E. (2019). The outcome predictability bias is evident in overt attention. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition45(3), 290.

Griffiths, O., Shehabi, N., Murphy, R. A., & Le Pelley, M. E. (2019). Superstition predicts perception of illusory control. British Journal of Psychology, 110, 499-518.

Griffiths, O., Livesey, E., & Thorwart, A. (2019). Learned biases in the processing of outcomes: A brief review of the outcome predictability effect. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition45(1), 1.

Griffiths, O., Erlinger, M., Beesley, T., & Le Pelley, M. E. (2017). Outcome predictability biases cued search. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition.

Griffiths, O., Mitchell, C. J., Bethmont, A., & Lovibond, P. F. (2015). Outcome predictability biases learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition, 41(1), 1.

Griffiths, O., & Thorwart, A. (2017). Effects of outcome predictability on human learning. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 511.

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