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Tsvetomira Dumbalska

BA (Hons), MSc


DPhil Candidate

  • Perception (Smithson Lab) & Human Information Processing (Summerfield Lab)

Research Summary

Irrelevant information should not affect our decisions. Yet, our choices are often swayed by contextual input that is entirely unrelated to the decision at hand. This is true for perceptual judgments pertaining to the appearance of a visual stimulus, as well as for more abstract evaluations of economic prospects. My doctoral work examines the context dependence of choice behavior across the realms of perception and economics. I run carefully controlled psychophysical experiments with volunteers to chart the behavioral signatures of context-dependent choices. I combine this behavioral data with simulations of mathematical models to arbitrate between different theoretical accounts of the mechanisms underlying context-dependent decision making. My work so far has encompassed decoy effects in economic decisions, distraction in perceptual decisions and categorization judgments.

Teaching & Supervision

I am the Visiting Student Program Coordinator at Pembroke College. Outside of arranging the visiting student program, I am an active tutor and demonstrator for the department and different colleges. Among other topics, I have tutored for Perception (Prelim & Part I), Cognition (Part I), Statistics and have demonstrated for a graduate course in Matlab Programming and undergraduate practical classes in Cognition and Visual Neuroscience. I have also previously taught advanced undergraduate courses in economics as a Teaching Assistant at Brown University. I have co-supervised final year undergraduate research projects at the Human Information Processing lab.

Recent publications

More publications

Open Science

I am a Reproducible Research Oxford Fellow and co-lead an interdisciplinary reading group focused on the promotion of diversity and equality in computational and quantitative fields. I am a frequent collaborator at the Framework for Open and Reproducible Research Training and always keen to connect with colleagues working on the promotion of robust and transparent research.