I study the algorithms people use to make decisions.
Every day, people make hundreds of decisions - what to wear, which route to take, where to eat lunch, how to phrase an email. We make most of these with ease and success. Yet, when cognitive scientists try to figure out the algorithms that people are using, they run into all sorts of problems. Out of all the endless possibilities, how do people know which options to consider? Which goals to set? Which outcomes to value? How do they balance the demands of evolution (e.g. the pursuit of innate rewards) with the demands of society (e.g. the desire to follow norms)? I address these questions using experiments and computational models, with a focus on the role of habits in our decision processes.