How satisfied are we with our wages? Do British citizens pay more or less tax than they should? Does the UK take in more than its fair share of asylum seekers? People's answers to such questions are typically, highly relative.

Wages are judged with reference to those of similar others in the same workplace or neighbourhood; many UK citizens believe that the UK takes too many asylum seekers in comparison to other countries. Thus judgements and decisions may be strongly determined by inaccurate prior beliefs or by a context of available information. For example, opinions about levels of immigration or taxation may be strongly Influenced by people's (often inaccurate) beliefs about levels in other European countries.

The research is developing and testing a rank-based model of everyday judgement and decision-making. Attitudes are hypothesised to be influenced by the rank-ordered position of an option in a distiibution. For example, most people overestimate the number of very wealthy people in the UK. We find that individuals' life satisfaction is influenced by where they believe themselves to rank in this assumed wage distribution, rather than by their actual wage. The project applies rank-based models to judgements about various socially and politically important quantities.

Sentencing, severity, and social norms: A rank-based model of contextual influence on judgments of crimes and punishments

Author: Silvio Aldrovandi Date: 01 November 2013 Journal article

Money, Well-Being, and Loss Aversion: Does an Income Loss Have a Greater Effect on Well-Being Than an Equivalent Income Gain?

Author: C. J. Boyce Date: 14 October 2013 Journal article

Stimulus spacing effects in duration perception are larger for auditory stimuli: Data and a model

Author: Trevor B. Penney Date: 01 August 2013 Journal article

Pain ratings reflect cognitive context: A range frequency model of pain perception

Author: Pat Watkinson Date: 01 May 2013 Journal article

How are personality judgments made? : a cognitive model of reference group effects, personality scale responses, and behavioral reactions

Author: Alex M. Wood Date: 01 January 2013 Journal article

Am I abnormal? : relative rank and social norm effects in judgments of anxiety and depression symptom severity

Author: Karen Melrose Date: 01 January 2013 Journal article

Arguments Against Memory Trace Decay: A SIMPLE Account of Baddeley and Scott

Author: Ian Neath Date: 25 December 2012 Journal article

Contextual Effects on the Perceived Health Benefits of Exercise: The Exercise Rank Hypothesis

Author: John Malby Date: 01 December 2012 Journal article

An evolutionary based social rank explanation of why low income predicts mental distress : a 17 year cohort study of 30,000 people

Author: Alex M. Wood Date: 01 February 2012 Journal article

Social norm influences on evaluations of the risks associated with alcohol consumption : applying the rank-based decision by sampling model to health judgments

Author: Alex M. Wood Date: 01 January 2012 Journal article

Decision by Sampling and Memory Distinctiveness: Range Effects from Rank-Based Models of Judgment and Choice

Author: Gordon D. A. Brown Date: 25 December 2011 Journal article

Preference Stability and Memory: Two Unlikely Companions

Author: Silvio Aldrovandi Date: 25 December 2011 Journal article

Does the brain calculate value?

Author: Ivo Vlaev Date: 11 October 2011 Journal article

Restoring primacy in amnesic free recall: Evidence for the recency theory of primacy

Author: Michaela Dewar Date: 01 September 2011 Journal article

Thanks, but I'm used to better : a relative rank model of gratitude

Author: Alex M. Wood Date: 01 February 2011 Journal article

Start date
30 September 2010
End date
29 September 2013
Grant holder
Gordon Brown
Professor Alex Mathew Wood
Grant amount
Grant reference
Grant type