Decisions, decisions: The science of choice

7.00pm to 8.15pm, Thursday 18 January


The Royal Institution of Great Britain GB United Kingdom W1S 4BS 21 Albemarle Street London

This event has already taken place

  • The science of choice

    Credit: Pexels CC0 Licence


Free for Ri Patrons,
Standard £16,
Concession £10,
Ri Members £7

Event description

Decisions – we make thousands of them every day, but what does science have to say about it? Chia-Jung Tsay, Suzy Moat and Peter Ayton explore modern decision-making, from bias in hiring to risk and uncertainty and even the implications of adding AI to the mix.

This event is part of our 'Ri Patrons present' series. With the support of the Ri Patron community, we are pleased to present this monthly series of fascinating events bringing together science and society. Following the event, Ri Patrons have the opportunity to meet the speakers and learn more about their research.

To learn more about supporting the Ri through patronage, please email us at

Lift out of service

Please note that the lift to the Theatre will be out of service due to a maintenance issue. Please email if you have any concerns.

About the speakers

Chia-Jung Tsay is an Associate Professor in the UCL School of Management. Her research examines the psychological processes that influence decision making and interpersonal perception in performance contexts. She investigates the role of expertise and nonconscious biases in professional selection and advancement. Chia received a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Psychology with a secondary Ph.D. field in Music from Harvard University, and previously taught at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Chia's work has been covered in print, radio, live television broadcasts in over 50 countries, including the BBC, Boston Globe, Business Insider, Chicago Tribune, the Economist, Forbes, Harvard Business Review, Nature, NPR, Scientific American, TIME, and the Wall Street Journal.

Peter Ayton is professor of Psychology at City, University of London where he has been since 1992. He has held visiting appointments at Carnegie-Mellon University; University of California, Los Angeles, INSEAD; Princeton University; University of Mannheim and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin. His research is concerned with the empirical investigation of human judgement and decision - particularly risk perception, decision-making under uncertainty and fallacies in thinking. His publications frequently address applied issues including the impact of computerised advice on radiologists’ cancer screening decisions; magistrates’ bail decision-making; effects of emotion on stock traders’ decisions, optimistic bias in convicted prisoners and the misconceptions of professional footballers.

Suzy Moat is an Associate Professor of Behavioural Science at Warwick Business School and a Fellow of The Alan Turing Institute, the UK’s national institute for data science. At Warwick Business School, Suzy directs the Data Science Lab, a multidisciplinary research team, with her colleague Tobias Preis. The lab’s research aims to determine whether data from the Internet can be used to measure and predict human behaviour in the real world, drawing on data from search engines, online photographs, games and more. Suzy's work has been featured by television, radio and press worldwide, in outlets such as the BBC, CNN, The Economist, The Guardian, Wall Street Journal and New Scientist. She has secured over £4.3 million funding to support this research to date. Suzy has also acted as an advisor to government and public bodies on related topics.

Claudia Hammond is an award-winning broadcaster, writer and lecturer. She regularly presents the All in the Mind and Mind Changers series on BBC Radio 4.


The doors will open at approximately 6.30pm, with a prompt start at 7.00pm. There will be time for questions after the talk.

Latecomers will be admitted to the gallery.

Following the talk, Ri Patrons are invited to a speakers drinks reception in the library.

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