Key Publications

A common assumption of many established models for decision making is that information is searched according to some pre-specified search rule. While the content of the information influences the termination of search, usually specified as a stopping rule, the direction of search is viewed as being independent of the valence of the retrieved information. We propose an extension to the parallel constraint satisfaction network model (iCodes: integrated coherence-based decision and search), which assumes—in contrast to pre-specified search rules—that the valence of available information influences search of concealed information. Specifically, the model predicts an attraction search effect in that information search is directed towards the more attractive alternative given the available information. In three studies with participants choosing between two options based on partially revealed probabilistic information, the attraction search effect was consistently observed for environments with varying costs for information search although the magnitude of the effect decreased with decreasing monetary search costs. We also find the effect in reanalyses of five published studies. With iCodes, we propose a fully specified formal model and discuss implications for theory development within competing modeling frameworks.
Psychological Review, 125, 744–768, 2018

Whereas classic work in judgment and decision making has focused on the deviation of intuition from rationality, more recent research has focused on the performance of intuition in real-world environments. Borrowing from both approaches, we investigate to which extent competing models of intuitive probabilistic decision making overlap with choices according to the axioms of probability theory and how accurate those models can be expected to perform in real-world environments. Specifically, we assessed to which extent heuristics, models implementing weighted additive information integration (WADD), and the parallel constraint satisfaction (PCS) network model approximate the Bayesian solution and how often they lead to correct decisions in a probabilistic decision task. PCS and WADD outperform simple heuristics on both criteria with an approximation of 88.8% and a performance of 73.7%. Results are discussed in the light of selection of intuitive processes by reinforcement learning.
Synthese, 198, 147–160, 2012

One major statistical and methodological challenge in Judgment and Decision Making research is the reliable identification of individual decision strategies by selection of diagnostic tasks, that is, tasks for which predictions of the strategies differ sufficiently. The more strategies are considered, and the larger the number of dependent measures simultaneously taken into account in strategy classification (e.g., choices, decision time, confidence ratings; Glöckner, 2009), the more complex the selection of the most diagnostic tasks becomes. We suggest the Euclidian Diagnostic Task Selection (EDTS) method as a standardized solution for the problem. According to EDTS, experimental tasks are selected that maximize the average difference between strategy predictions for any multidimensional prediction space. In a comprehensive model recovery simulation, we evaluate and quantify the influence of diagnostic task selection on identification rates in strategy classification. Strategy classification with EDTS shows superior performance in comparison to less diagnostic task selection algorithms such as representative sampling. The advantage of EDTS is particularly large if only few dependent measures are considered. We also provide an easy-to-use function in the free software package R that allows generating predictions for the most commonly considered strategies for a specified set of tasks and evaluating the diagnosticity of those tasks via EDTS; thus, to apply EDTS, no prior programming knowledge is necessary.
JDM, 6, 782–799, 2011

Most Recent Publications

More Publications

(2019). Testing cognitive models by a joint analysis of multiple dependent measures. Handbook of Process Tracing.


Open Science

Open Science Initiative at the FernUniversität in Hagen

Coherence based reasoning and rationality

DFG funded project (2011-2014) in the SPP1516 New Frameworks of Rationality


PCS-DM Online App

Derive predictions for the PCS-DM model


I am a teaching instructor for the following courses at Universität zu Köln:

  • Master class about social cognition
  • Bachelor class about cognitive psychology (sensation and perception)
  • Bachelor class about diagnostics for school teachers

I supervised about 250 Bachelor and 10 Master-theses at FernUniversität in Hagen; I supervised master- and bachelor-theses at University of Göttingen and at University of Bonn

In the past, I taught the following courses:

  • Bachelor class about preparing a Bachelor thesis at FernUniversität in Hagen
  • Bachelor class about statistical analyses and open science at FernUniversität in Hagen link to slides
  • Bachelor class about artificial neuronal networks in psychology at FernUniversität in Hagen link to slides
  • Bachelor class about computational modeling of learning at FernUniversität in Hagen
  • Workshop (invited) on panel data analysis / complex regression models at 3rd EADM JDM Summer School (together with Andreas Glöckner) [course language: English] link to slides
  • Workshop (invited) on spreading activation network models in decision making at the international summer school on Theories and Methods in Judgment and Decision Making Research organized by the DFG research unit Contextualized Decision Making [course language: English]
  • Workshop on cognitive modeling in decision making at 8th Annual Judgment and Decision Making Workshop for Early-Career Researchers [course language: English]
  • Three short lectures (invited) on cognitive modeling of decision making at University of Erfurt
  • Advanced class on cognitive modeling at University of Göttingen
  • Advanced class on item-response theory at University of Göttingen link to slides
  • Bachelor class on test-theory at University of Göttingen
  • Workshop Rewards of Simulations in Psychology at 5th Judgment and Decision Making Workshop for Young Researchers [course language: Englisch]
  • Advanced workshops (invited) on modeling cognitive and social processes in R at University of Mannheim, University of Marburg, and University of Landau
  • Bachelor classes on computer assisted data analysis, introduction to R, empirical-experimental practical, introduction to psychology, and the psychology of emotions at University of Bonn


  • marc.jekel
  • Institut für Psychologie, Sozialpsychologie, Richard Strauss Straße 2, 50931 Köln, Germany
  • email me for an appointment