Marco Vasconcelos

Marco Vasconcelos
Integrated Member
Cognition Team

Marco Vasconcelos’s main stream of research deals with decision making and rationality. He integrates concepts and techniques from operant and developmental psychology and comparative cognition research with normative theoretical models from optimal foraging theory and microeconomics. To understand the thread of his research it is necessary to define decision making. Decisions are not a subclass of behavior but a way to investigate it; all behavior can be described as choice. In practice, however, researchers deal with preferences between alternatives modeling how they are valued and how valuation drives choices. He uses optimality and learning theory to deal with valuation, and empirically supported algorithms to translate valuation into choice. Marco endeavors to develop a model of the causative process under investigation, if possible in mathematical language, and then test it by experiment.

Main 5 publications

Pandeirada, J. N., Fernandes, N. L., & Vasconcelos, M. (2020). Attractiveness of Human Faces: Norms by Sex, Sexual Orientation, Age, Relationship Stability, and Own Attractiveness Judgements. Frontiers in Psychology, 11. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00419
Vasconcelos, M., Fortes, I., & Kacelnik, A. (2017). On the Structure and Role of Optimality Models in the Study of Behavior. In J. Call (Ed.), APA Handbook of Comparative Psychology (Vol. 2, pp. 287-307). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Fortes, I., Vasconcelos, M., & Machado, A. (2016). Testing the boundaries of “paradoxical” predictions: Pigeons do disregard bad news. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition, 42(4), 336-346. doi:10.1037/xan0000114
Vasconcelos, M., Monteiro, T., & Kacelnik, A. (2015). Irrational choice and the value of information. Scientific Reports, 5, 13874. doi:10.1038/srep13874
Monteiro, T., Vasconcelos, M., & Kacelnik, A. (2013). Starlings uphold principles of economic rationality for delay and probability of reward. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 280, 1756. doi:10.1098/rspb.2012.2386