Nathaniel Ashby-Social and Decision Sciences - Carnegie Mellon University

Nathaniel Ashby

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Office: DDM Lab, 4609 Winthrop Street
Phone: (412) 268-9547


Nathaniel completed his BSc in psychology at the University of Oregon in 2008. Continuing at the University of Oregon, Nathaniel completed his MSc in Psychology under the supervisor of Dr. Edward Vogel, focusing on the cognitive neuroscience of selective visual attention. In 2010 Nathaniel became a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods. Under the supervision of Dr. Andreas Glockner and Dr. Tilmann Betsch Nathaniel subsequently earned his PhD in 2012, with his thesis focusing on the role of attention and memory in valuation judgments and choice behavior. Nathaniel is currently working with Dr. Cleotilde Gonzalez exploring learning and preference construction processes in experiential decisions.


Universität Erfurt Erfurt, Germany
Ph.D. in Psychology, May 2012
Thesis Title: Attention and Information Processing in Valuation and Choice

University of Oregon Eugene, OR
Master of Science in Psychology, 2010
Area of specialization: Cognitive Neuroscience

University of Oregon Eugene, OR
Bachelor of Science in Psychology w/Honors, 2008


Nathaniel’s research interests rest primarily in the field of Judgment and Decision Making. He has conducted experimental research across a range of topics within this field, from investigations of consumer product choice to affective processes involved in charitable giving, to the role of unconscious thought processes in decisions. The common theme underlying these diverse lines of research has been his interest in the role played by lower level cognitive processes such as visual attention, executive functioning, and working memory capacity within decision-making processes. Building upon his diverse background, Nathaniel is currently conducting several studies using eye tracking and EEG/ERP methodologies in order to develop process models of both valuation and choice. In addition, his current work focuses on the role of experience and learning in decision making across a variety of choice contexts (e.g., investment decisions and product choice).

Research Interests

Consumer behavior, valuation, and judgment and decision-making
Attention, executive control, and memory
Neural correlates of preference and perspective

Recent Publications

  • Ashby N. J. S., & Rakow, T. (in press). Forgetting the past: Individual differences in recency in subjective valuations from experience. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition.
  • Ashby N. J. S., Dickert S., Glöckner A. (2012). Focusing on what you own: Biased information uptake due to ownership. Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 254-267, 2012.
  • Ashby N. J. S., Glöckner A., Dickert S. (2011). Conscious and unconscious thought in risky choice: Testing the capacity principle and the appropriate weighting principle of Unconscious Thought Theory. Frontiers in Psychology, 2:261.