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Posted on 5 August 2016

CogNovo research fellows at ICT2016

Raluca Briazu and Kathryn B. Francis will present work at the International Conference on Thinking (ICT) at Brown University, Providence, RI. The conference will run from 4 - 6th August bringing together psychologists, philosophers and decision-making researchers. This is the first time that the conference is being held outside of Europe in the US. In this year’s conference, keynote speakers will include Cass Sunstein, Shaun Nichols and Michael Tomasello.

Raluca will present as part of a symposia entitled "Counterfactual thoughts about alternatives to reality" convened by Professor Ruth Byrne. Raluca will present her work titled "Thinking counterfactually acting immorally" which explores the link between counterfactual thinking and lying. The session also includes Eva Rafetseder and Sarah Beck who will discuss developmental aspects of counterfactual thinking and Ruth Byrne who will discuss counterfactual thinking and moral judgments.
Raluca will contribute to the symposium by speaking about how counterfactual thoughts are used in everyday social interactions. She will do so by presenting her latest studies which highlight a positive link between counterfactual thinking and lying. The results of three separate experiments show that those with a tendency to generate counterfactual thoughts were also more likely to deceive; that manipulating the counterfactual availability of events can influence subsequent deceptive responses; and that counterfactual inferences can be used to infer dishonesty. Raluca conducted this experiment as part of her PhD project "The Role of Counterfactual Thinking in Deception".

Kathryn will present her work titled "'Technology-driven' moral training: Moral reasoning in the emergency services" which investigates simulated moral actions and moral judgments in paramedic practitioners and incident command officers. This follows on from her previous work exploring the use of Virtual Reality (VR) in moral decision-making as she discusses the use of VR in emergency medical training.
In this previous research, Kathryn has found that simulated moral actions in virtual paradigms are distinct from moral judgments made in response to traditional text-based moral paradigms. Recently, in healthcare and medical professions, there has been a shift from traditional table-top training to VR training for its immersive and cost-effective benefits. If simulated action and judgment are at least partially distinct as Kathryn's research would suggest, this holds relevance for professions transitioning to VR-based training. Kathryn conducted these experiments as part of her PhD project.