Paula Parpart

Paula Parpart

E-mail: paula.parpart@nyu.edu, paula.parpart@ucl.ac.uk
Office: 60 5th Ave, Room 643, New York, NY 10011
           

My CV: here

I am a computational cognitive scientist and currently visiting the Moore-Sloan Centre for Data Science at New York University, working with Todd Gureckis. I am interested in why people are so good at generalizing to novel tasks from little data and the concept of learning-to-learn. How do people know when to ignore information (i.e., rely on sparse/regularized solutions)?

My PhD research has focused on reconciling heuristic and Bayesian views of rationality in decision making. A key contribution is the idea that heuristics can be conceptualised as embodying extreme Bayesian priors. I find that entirely ignoring information (such as heuristics do) is never the optimal solution - a decision strategy which down-weights information with the appropriate prior will always outperform a strategy that entirely ignores it. This approach has helped to explain why heuristics work well in practice.

Previously, I was a Teaching Fellow at UCL from 2016 - 2017 running the MSc Cognitive and Decision Sciences, and a PhD student in Prof. Brad Love's lab. In the final year of my PhD, I founded the company brainpool.ai - an artificial intelligence consultancy that connects academic experts in machine learning and data science with corporations, and delivers machine learning solutions to private and public sectors such as healthcare, tech, finance or government.

Publications

Forthcoming

Parpart, P., Schulz, E., Speekenbrink, M. & Love, B. (in revision), Active learning reveals underlying decision strategies.
preprint

Guarda, P., Parpart, P., Harvey, N., & Juan Carlos Muñoz (submitted), A psychological approach to understanding decisions about time in public transport. Evidence from lab experiments in London, UK and Santiago, Chile.

Mumford, K., Lagnado, D. A. & Parpart, P. (forthcoming), The illusion of explanatory depth in the context of Brexit.

Parpart, P., & Schulz, E. (forthcoming), Is covariance ignorance responsible for the success of heuristics?

Parpart, P., & Love, B. (forthcoming), Reversing less-is-more effects.

2018

Parpart, P., Jones, M., & Love, B.C. (2018). Heuristics as Bayesian inference under extreme priors. Cognitive Psychology , Volume 102, pp. 127 - 144
Link pdf

Parpart, P., & Schulz, E. (2018), The role of covariance in heuristics suggests a reinterpretation of Take-The-Best’s success. Proceedings of the 40th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

Parpart, P. (2018), Reinterpreting heuristics as Bayesian inference. Proceedings of the 40th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

2017

Parpart, P. (2017). Why less can be more: A Bayesian framework for heuristics. Thesis, University College London
Link

2016

Kopec, L., Parpart, P., Wallang, P. & Love, B.C. (2016). Less Information Can Improve Clinical Risk Assessments. Talk presented at the Society for Medical Decision Making Biennial European Conference, 2016, London, United Kingdom
Link

2015

Parpart, P., Schulz, E., Speekenbrink, M. & Love, B. (2015). Active learning as a means to distinguish among prominent decision strategies. Proceedings of the 37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
pdf

Parpart, P., Schulz, E., Speekenbrink, M. & Love, B. (2015). Active learning as a means to distinguish among prominent decision strategies. Talk presented at the Proceedings of the 37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, 2015, Pasadena, CA.

Parpart, P., Jones, M., & Love, B.C. (2015), Simple Heuristics as Special Cases of Bayesian Inference. Poster presented at the Memory and Decision Making Workshop, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland

Parpart, P., Jones, M., & Love, B.C. (2015), Simple Heuristics as Special Cases of Bayesian Inference. Simple Heuristics as Special Cases of Bayesian Inference. Poster presented at the Cumberland Lodge PhD Conference, Windsor, United Kingdom

2014

Parpart, P., Jones, M., & Love, B.C. (2014), Heuristics as a Special Case of Bayesian Inference. Talk at Decision Making Bristol 2014, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom

Parpart, P., Jones, M., & Love, B.C. (2014), Heuristics as Special Cases of Bayesian Inference. Poster presented at the 36th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 2014, Quebec City, Canada

Parpart, P., Jones, M., & Love, B.C. (2014), Heuristics as Special Cases of Bayesian Inference. Talk at the Mathematical Psychology Conference 2014, Quebec City, Canada

Parpart, P., Jones, M., & Love, B.C. (2014), Heuristics as Special Cases of Bayesian Inference. Reconciling irrational and adaptive views of heuristics. Talk at Cumberland Lodge Conference, Windsor, United Kingdom
wooWinner of Best Talk Prize

2013

Parpart, P., Jones, M., & Love, B.C. (2013), Reconciling irrational and adaptive views of heuristics. Talk at the 34th International Conference on Subjective Probability, Utility and Decision Making (SPUDM24), ISCE, Barcelona, Spain

Parpart, P., Jones, M., & Love, B.C. (2013), When is it rational to rely on heuristics? Poster presented at the 35th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 2013, Berlin, Germany

2011

Parpart, P., & Cokely, E.T. (2011), When does Cognitive Control lead to Biases? Evidence from Memory and Stock Profit Estimation Tasks. Poster presented at the 23rd International Conference on Subjective Probability, Utility and Decision Making (SPUDM23), Kingston Upon Thames, United Kingdom

Okan,Y., Parpart, P., Cokely, E.T. & Garcia-Retamero, R. (2011), The effect of misleading graphs on the comprehension of health and political communications: Who is more susceptible to misinterpret data? Poster presented at the 23rd International Conference on Subjective Probability, Utility and Decision Making (SPUDM23), Kingston Upon Thames, United Kingdom

Okan, Y., Woller-Carter, M., Simon, S.R., Russell, K., Ghazal S., Parpart, P., Garcia-Retamero R., Cokely, E.T. (2011), Overcoming distortions in political and health communication: Mechanisms of graph literacy. Poster presented at the 83rd Annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.

2010

Parpart, P., & Cokely, E.T. (2010), Fluency and cognitive control in judgment: Influences of memory and elaborative encoding. Poster presented at the Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 2010, Portland, Oregon

2009

Cokely, E.T., Parpart, P., & Schooler, L.J. (2009), On the link between cognitive control and heuristic processes. Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
pdf

Cokely, E.T., Parpart, P., & Schooler, L.J. (2009), Mechanisms of superior judgment: Ironic effects of cognitive control. Talk at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Society for Judgment and Decision-Making, Boston, MA.

Cokely, E.T., & Parpart, P. (2009), There is no “the” heuristic system: Modes of cognitive control in judgment and decision making. Talk at the 16th European Society for Cognitive Psychology Conference, Krakow, Poland

Cokely, E.T., & Parpart, P. (2009), Modes of cognitive control in judgment & decision making. Talk at the 22nd Subjective Probability Utility Decision Making(SPUDM22) Conference, Reverto, Italy

2008

Cokely, E.T., & Parpart, P. (2008), There is no “the” heuristic system: Evidence of reflective heuristic processing. Poster presented at the 49th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Chicago, IL.

Parpart, P. & Cokely, E.T. (2008), Individual differences and the use of fluency in judgment: Paradoxical evidence of reflective heuristic processing. Poster presented at the 2nd Biennial Symposium on Personality and Social Psychology, Warsaw, Poland
wooWinner of Student Poster Award

Theses

Parpart, P. (2017). Why less can be more: A Bayesian Framework for Heuristics. PhD thesis, Experimental Psychology, UCL, London.
pdf
wooWinner of UCL Sully Scholarship Prize for Best PhD upgrade

Parpart, P. (2013). Improving Fraud Detection: A Rational Bayesian Model for Heuristic Decision Making. MRes thesis, Computer Science, UCL, London.

Parpart, P. (2011). Recognize Bayes? Bayesian Modeling of the Recognition Heuristic. MSc thesis, Cognitive, Perceptual & Brain Sciences, UCL, London.

Students

Kate Mumford (2017) MSc thesis - The illusion of understanding (IOED) in the context of Brexit.

Pablo Guarda (2017). MSc thesis: Understanding Risk Attitudes Toward Waiting and Travel Time Variability in Public Transport.

Matt Bodien (2017) MSc thesis: Ideologue Over Ideology: The Dominating Influence of political affiliations over personal values.

Sabina Ghinescu (2015) - BSc thesis: Heuristics as a special case of Bayesian inference - Experimental study.

Samantha Mead (2014) - BSc thesis: Heuristics in a Real-World setting: An Example of Gambling.

Teaching

Teaching Fellow in Computational Decision Making 2016-2017:

wooStudent Choice Teaching Award for Outstanding Research Supervision

wooStudent Choice Teaching Award for Outstanding Personal Support

PSYCGD02: Principles of Cognition

PSYCGD04: Knowledge, Learning & Inference

PSYCG201: Applied Decision-Making

MSc Cognitive Science Seminar

Second year Lab in Decision Making

First Year Seminar

Lectures

Computational Models of Cognition. For PSYCGD04: Knowledge, Learning & Inference, Experimental Psychology, UCL.
2017

Active learning. For PSYCGD04: Knowledge, Learning & Inference, Experimental Psychology, UCL.
2017

Heuristics as Bayesian Inference. For PSYCGD04: Knowledge, Learning & Inference, Experimental Psychology, UCL.
2017, 2016

The Cognitive Science Approach. For PSYCGD02: Principles of Cognition, Experimental Psychology, UCL.
2017

Medical Decision Making. For PSYCG201: Applied Decision-making, Experimental Psychology, UCL.
2015a

Consumer Decision Making. For PSYCG201: Applied Decision-making, Experimental Psychology, UCL.
2014

Expertise. For PSYCG201: Applied Decision-making, Experimental Psychology, UCL.
2014

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