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Dr Shira Elqayam

Job: Reader in Cognitive Science

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: School of Applied Social Sciences

Address: De Montfort, University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH.

T: +44 (0)116 257 7850

E: selqayam@dmu.ac.uk

W: www.dmu.ac.uk/hls

 

Personal profile

Shira's research focuses on reasoning, decision making, and rationality. A major theme in her research is the study of normativity in rationality and in human inference. This is a two-pronged approach, encompassing both conceptual analysis and experimental research. The conceptual strand of this work is a critique of normativist conceptions of rationality, i.e. the idea that rationality should be judged by normative benchmarks (Elqayam & Evans, 2011; Evans & Elqayam, 2011).

The critique argues that normativism has led psychology of reasoning and decision making to dubious inference from ‘is’ to ‘ought’, as well as to a host of research biases, and that a descriptivist research agenda would benefit psychology.

The empirical strand of this theme (Elqayam et al., 2015; 2017) examines the way that people infer normative conclusions from descriptive premises. Findings indicate that such inference is driven by the causal link between action and outcome and the psychological value of the outcome, but it can be suppressed when reasoners are presented with competing outcomes or competing normative values.

Research group affiliations

Psychology Research Group 

Publications and outputs 

 

Click here for a full listing of Shira Elqayam's publications and outputs.

Key research outputs

 

Research interests/expertise

Shira's research interests are in higher mental processes and primarily in reasoning, decision making, and their linguistic aspects. The main themes in her work are normative rationality and thinking, disjunctive thinking, dual process theories, and iterative and interactive processes in analytic thinking.

Areas of teaching

  • Conceptual Issues and Critical Debates in Psychology (Module leader)
  • Research methods (Postgraduate)

Qualifications

PhD, MA, BA

Membership of professional associations and societies

Experimental Psychology Society

British Psychological Society

Psychonomic Society

Conference attendance

Recent (since 2014)

Organised international events

Elqayam, S. and Ackerman, R. (Organisers). Shedding metacognitive light on reasoning processes. International workshop, De Montfort University, 9-11 February, 2017.

 

Convened symposia & workshops

Elqayam, S. (convenor). Current Issues in Rationality: Deductive and Probabilistic Reasoning. Symposium convened for The second biennial International Convention of Psychological Science, the Austria Center Vienna in Vienna, Austria, 23-25 March 2017.

Elqayam, S., and Skovgaard Olsen, N. (convenors). Rationality and normativity. Symposium convened for the Eighth International Conference on Thinking, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA, 4-6 August, 2016.

Elqayam, S., and Douven, I.E. (convenors). A Festschrift symposium for David Over. Symposium convened for the Eighth International Conference on Thinking, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA, 4-6 August, 2016.

 

Keynotes and Invited talks: International conferences and workshops

Grounded rationality: The case of is-to-ought inference. Keynote address, the Sixth Annual Meeting of the New Frameworks of Rationality Program, Schloss Etelsen, Germany, 5-8 March, 2017.

Attitudes, context, and rationality. Invited talk, to be delivered at the Regensburg Workshop on Attitudes in Context, Regensburg, Germany, 14-16 September, 2017

Grounded rationality: A descriptivist theory of rationality in context. Invited talk, to be delivered at the workshop “Theories of Rationality: Descriptive and Normative Aspects”, University of Bonn, Germany, 1-3 from September, 1-3 September, 2017.

The Equation meets Grounded Rationality. The Eighth International Conference on Thinking, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA, 4-6 August, 2016.

Dutch book arguments are not all they are cracked out to be. Conference in honour of Ken Manktelow’s retirement, Wolverhampton University, 15 May, 2014.

 

Invited talks: Seminars

Rationality in context: Clinical medicine, satisficing, and grounded rationality. Presented at the Behavioral Science & Management seminar, the Technion, Israel, 14 December, 2016.

Moral judgement and the creation of novel norms. Research seminar of the School of Psychology, Queen’s University Belfast. Belfast, 3 March, 2016.

Normative rationality and the generative capacity of norms. The Center for the Study of Rationality, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 16 April, 2015.

 

Refereed Conference Contributions

Elqayam, S., Douven, I., Singmann, H., & van Wijnbergen-Huitink, J. (2017). Inferential connections in conditionals: A hypothetical inferential theory (HIT). Paper presented at the second biennial International Convention of Psychological Science, the Austria Center Vienna in Vienna, Austria, 23-25 March 2017.

Elqayam, S., Thompson, Wilkinson, M.R. V.A., Over, D.E., Evans, and J.St.B.T. (2015). inference from is to ought mediates moral judgement. Paper presented at the Eighth London Reasoning Workshop. 4-6 August, 2015, Birkbeck College, London, UK.

Elqayam, S., Thompson, V.A., Over, D.E., Evans, J.St.B.T., and Wilkinson, M.R. (2014). Models of is-ought inference. Paper presented at the Seventh London Reasoning Workshop. 9-10 July, 2014, Birkbeck College, London, UK.

 

Key research outputs

Recent outputs (Since 2014)

Books

Elqayam, S., & Over, D.E. (Eds.) (2016). From is to ought: The place of normative models in the study of human thought. Lausanne: Frontiers Media SA.

Elqayam, S., Bonnefon, J.F., & Over, D.E. (Eds.) (2016). New paradigm psychology of reasoning: Basic and applied Perspectives. Hove: Routledge Psychology.

 

Refereed journal articles

Djulbegovic, M., & Elqayam, S. (2017). Many faces of rationality: Implications of the great rationality debate for clinical decision-making. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 1-8.

Elqayam, S., Wilkinson, M.R., Thompson, V.A., Over, D.E., & Evans, J.St.B.T. (2017). Utilitarian moral judgment exclusively coheres with inference from is to ought. Frontiers in Psychology: Cognitive Science, 8, 1042.

Elqayam, S., & Over, D.E. (2016). Editorial: From is to ought: The place of normative models in the study of human thought. Frontiers in Psychology 7, 628.

Elqayam, S., Thompson, V.A., Wilkinson, M.R., Evans, J.St.B.T., & Over, D.E. (2015). Deontic Introduction: A Theory of Inference from Is to Ought. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 41(5), 1516-1532.

Djulbegovic, M., Beckstead, J., Elqayam, S., Reljic, T., Kumar, A., Paidas, C., & Djulbegovic, B. (2015). Thinking styles and regret in physicians. PLoS ONE, 10(8) doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0134038

van Wijnbergen-Huitink, J., Elqayam, S., & Over, D.E. (2015). The probability of iterated conditionals. Cognitive Science. 39(4), 788-803.

Djulbegovic, B., Beckstead, J.W., Elqayam, S., Reljic, T., et al. (2014). Evaluation of physicians’ cognitive styles. Medical Decision Making, 34, 627-637.

Djulbegovic, B., Elqayam, S., Rejic, T., Hozo, I., Tsalatsanis, A., Kumar, A., Beckstead, J., Chen, R., Taylor, S., & Cannon-Browers, J. (2014). How do physicians decide to treat: an empirical evaluation of the threshold model. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 14, 47-57.

 

Refereed commentaries

Elqayam, S. (2015). Instrumental, bounded and grounded rationality: Comments on Lockie. Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 4(11), 47-51.

 

Book chapters

Elqayam, S. (2017). New psychology of reasoning. In: Ball, L.J. & Thompson, V.A. (Eds.) International Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning. Hove, UK: Routledge Psychology.

Elqayam, S. (2016). Scams and rationality: Dutch book arguments are not all they’re cracked up to be. In N. Galbraith, D. E. Over, & E. J. Lucas (Eds.), The thinking mind: A Festschrift for Ken Manktelow. Hove, UK: Psychology Press.

Elqayam, S. (2016). Grounded Rationality and the New Paradigm Psychology of Reasoning. In: L. Macchi, M. Bagassi, & R. Viale (eds.) Cognitive unconscious and human rationality. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.

Current research students

Ashleigh Jeffries, De Montfort University.

Externally funded research grants information

Elqayam, S., Thompson, V.A., Over, D.E. & Evans, J.St.B.T. (2012). Generative capacity of norms: A theory of inference from 'is' to 'ought'. Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grant, £75,450. The grant was featured in the Leverhulme Trust’s newsletter and mentioned in Times Higher Education.

Deontic introduction: How to infer the ‘ought’ from the ‘is’. Experimental Psychology Society small grant. July 2009-2011
Collaborators: Valerie Thompson, University of Saskatchewan, Canada; Jonathan Evans, University of Plymouth, UK; David Over, Durham University, UK

Iterated conditionals. As ordinary as can be?  EURO-XPRAG (funded by European Science Foundation), research travel grant March 2010-March 2012.
Collaborators: Janneke Huitink, Goethe-University Frankfurt, Germany; David Over, Durham University, UK

Professional esteem indicators

Keynote address

Grounded rationality: The case of is-to-ought inference. Keynote address, the Sixth Annual Meeting of the New Frameworks of Rationality Program, Schloss Etelsen, Germany, 5-8 March, 2017.

Editing

Associate editor, Forntiers in Psychology: Cognitive Science.

Associate editor, Forntiers in Psyhcology: Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology

Editorial board: Thinking & Reasoning

Guest editor (with Jean Francois Bonnefon and David Over), special issue of 'Thinking and Reasoning on 'New Paradigm Psychology of Reasoning', forthcoming.

Host Associate Editor (with David Over), Research Topic of Frontiers in Cognitive Science on the topic From is to ought: The place of normative models in the study of human thought.

Reviewing

  • Regular reviewer for Thinking and Reasoning.
  • Ad hoc reviewer for Acta Psychologica, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Cognition, Cognitive Science, European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, Frontiers in Cognitive Science, International Journal of Psychology, Memory & Cognition, Minds and Machines, Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, Synthese.
  • Grant reviewer for the Economic and Social Research council, Israel Science Foundation, Mofet Institute Israel, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Research Foundation Flanders (Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek - Vlaanderen, FWO).

 

Last edited

September 2017

Shira

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