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Derek J. Koehler


Derek J. Koehler.BS (Wisconsin), PhD (Stanford)

Contact information

Recipient, Premier's Research Excellence Award

Research interests

My research investigates the intuitive assessment of uncertainty involved in everyday planning, prediction, and decision making. This research includes the study of how people evaluate evidence (or cues, e.g., a patient's symptoms) when estimating the probability of an uncertain event (or outcome, e.g., the patient's eventual diagnosis), how generating scenarios or explanations influences the perceived likelihood of future events, and how current intentions influence self-predictions of future behavior. In the course of this research, my collaborators and I have asked basketball fans to predict the outcomes of upcoming National Basketball Association (NBA) games, physicians to judge the probability that a patient is suffering from a particular illness, homeowners to predict when they will complete a household project, and students to estimate the probability that they will donate blood at an upcoming donation clinic. Much of my recent research is located at the intersection of psychology and economics, in a field sometimes called behavioral economics.

Recent publications

(Complete list of downloadable articles)

Edited book

Downloadable reprints

Derek Koehler's curriculum vitae (PDF)

Courses Taught

Psychology 292: Basic Data Analysis
Psychology 304: Thinking and Deciding
Psychology 458: Psychology of Economic Decisions
Psychology 776: Judgment and Decision Making


New Techniques for Saving More
Are We Wrong to be Over-Optimistic?
Why Don't We Save More? (podcast interview)
Writing Wrongs
Ideas 42
uWaterloo Centre for Behavioural Decision Research

University of Waterloo

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