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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Psychology

Faculty & Staff Directory

Douglas H. Wedell

Department of Psychology
University of South Carolina

Office: Barnwell College Rm. 224C
Phone Number: (803) 777-4263
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Doug Wedell

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Dr. Wedell joined the faculty at the University of South Carolina in 1989. He is currently the Chair of the Psychology Department and Co-Director of the NSF funded Summer Research Experience in Brain and Cognitive Sciences.

RESEARCH FOCUS.  The motivating force behind Dr. Wedell's research has been an attempt to better understand how context affects how we think about, feel, and interact with the world. He has studied context effects by altering the nature of the stimulus or choice set, changing features of the task, such as the mode of presentation or the type or response required, and manipulating the framing of the information being considered. His research is characterized by development of quantitative models that explain judgment, decision, and memory processes. Recent areas of research include the following:

Representations and Consequences of Affect: Dr. Wedell has collaborated with Dr. Svetlana Shinkareva on several projects that are aimed at better understanding the neural representation of affect and how this representation links to representations derived from behavioral measures. IN addition, in collaboration with Jongwan Kim, Dr. Wedell has examined how inducing affective states related to valence and arousal impact risky choice.

Context Effects on Music Memory and Preference: Dr. Wedell has collaborated with Dr. Matt Rashotte on several projects that are aimed at better understanding how musical tempo is perceived and how the preferred tempo for a song is altered by recent contextual experiences.

Bias in Spatial Memory: Dr. Wedell has developed models of spatial memory based on patterns of bias in estimation. Recent research demonstrates how biases change depending on perspective (egocentric or allocentric) and orientation to the environment (static or dynamic).

Judgment & Choice: Dr. Wedell has continued basic research into the contextual bases of judgment and choice. Within this area, he has been particularly concerned with the contextual processes underlying similarity and preference judgments. He has examined these processes using simple perceptual stimuli and more complex social stimuli. Recent research in this area has demonstrated contextually induced preference reversals for familiar stimuli such as faces, body shapes, and well known songs. 

Probability Judgment: Dr. Wedell has developed a research program aimed at understanding how judgments and decisions about risky prospects are influenced by whether they are considered as unique or as part of an aggregate. He has explored how reasoning about probabilities is influenced by response mode and how people confuse diagnostic and predictive judgments.

Representative Publications:

Rashotte, M. A., & Wedell, D. H. (2014). Testing the absolute tempo hypothesis: Context effects for familiar and unfamiliar Songs. Memory & Cognition, 42, 1302- 1314.

Choplin, J. M., & Wedell, D. H. (2014). How many calories were in those hamburgers again?  Distribution density biases recall of attribute values. Judgment and Decision Making, 9, 243-258.

Shinkareva, S. V., Wang, J., & Wedell, D. H. (2013). Examining similarity structure: Multidimensinoal scaling and related approaches in neuroimaging. Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine, vol. 2013, Article ID 796183, 9 pages. doi:10.1155/2013/796183.

Smarandescu, L., Rose, R., & Wedell, D. H. (2013). Priming a cross-category brand alliance: The moderating role of attribute knowledge and need for cognition. Psychology and Marketing, 30, 133-147.

Baucom, L. B., Wedell, D. H., Wang, J., Blitzer, D. N., & Shinkareva, S. V. (2012). Decoding the neural representation of affective states. Neuroimage, 718-727.

Hutcheson, A. T., & Wedell, D. H. (2012). From maps to navigation: The role of cues in finding locations in a virtual environment. Memory & Cognition, 40, 946-957.

Long, R. F., Huebner, S. H., Wedell, D. H., & Hills, K. J. (2012). Measuring school-related subjective well-being in adolescents. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 82, 50-60.

Rashotte, M. A., & Wedell, D. H. (2012). Context effects on tempo and pleasantness judgments for Beatles songs. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 74, 575- 599.

Wedell, D. H. (2011). Probabilistic reasoning in prediction and diagnosis:  Effects of problem type, response mode, and individual differences. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 24,157-179.

Wedell, D. H. (2011). Evaluations of single- and repeated-play gambles. Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science.

Fitting, S., Wedell, D. H., & Allen, G.L. (2009). Cue effects on memory for location when navigating spatial displays. Cognitive Science, 33, 1267-1300.

Hutcheson, A. T., & Wedell, D. H. (2009) Moderating the route angularity effect in a virtual environment: Support for a dual memory representation. Memory and Cognition, 37, 514-521.

Wedell, D. H. (2009). Conjunction probability error. In M. W. Kattan (Ed.) Encyclopedia of medical decision making (pp. 184-188). Beverly Hills: Sage.

Fitting, S., Wedell, D. H., & Allen, G.L. (2008). Cue usage in memory for location when orientation is fixed. Memory and Cognition, 36, 1196-1216.

Fitting, S., Wedell, D. H., & Allen, G.L. (2008). External cue effects on memory for spatial location within a rotated task field. Spatial Cognition and Computing, 8, 219-251.

Wedell, D. H. (2008). A similarity-based range-frequency model for two category rating data. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 15, 638-643.

Wedell, D. H., & Moro, R. (2008). Testing boundary conditions for the conjunction fallacy: Effects of response mode, conceptual focus and problem type. Cognition, 107, 105-136.

Fitting, S., Wedell, D. H., & Allen, G. L. (2007). Memory for Spatial Location: Cue Effects as a Function of Field Rotation. Memory and Cognition, 35, 1641-1658.

Hicklin, S. K., & Wedell, D. H. (2007). Learning group differences: Implications for contrast and assimilation in stereotyping. Social Cognition, 25, 410-454.

Pettibone, J. C., & Wedell, D. H. (2007). Testing alternative explanations of phantom decoy effects. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 20, 323-341.

Pettibone, J. C., & Wedell, D. H. (2007). Of gnomes and leprechauns: The recruitment of recent and categorical contexts in social judgment. Acta Psychologica, 125, 361-389.

Wedell, D. H., Fitting, S., & Allen, G. L. (2007). Shape effects on memory for location. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 14, 681-686.