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1. Voskuilen, Chelsea E. Models of Decision-Making.

Degree: PhD, Psychology, 2017, The Ohio State University

This dissertation consists of a collection of projects on the modeling of decision-making. The first chapter describes three of the most popular models of decision-making and presents fits of these models to a large collection of datasets. While all three of the models provide reasonable fits to the data, there is only moderate agreement between the model parameters and some of the models’ parameters are not well recovered. The second chapter describes a particular pattern of results that is observed in tasks with two stimuli (a pattern that is not observable in tasks with decisions involving a single stimulus) and presents two ways of modeling this pattern of results. The third chapter was originally published as an article in the Journal of Mathematical Psychology in 2016. This chapter investigates whether a diffusion model with collapsing boundaries provides a better account of human data than a model with fixed boundaries. Overall, a diffusion model with decision boundaries that converge over time was not found to provide an improvement over the standard diffusion model. The fourth chapter is in-press as an article in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. In this article, I examined the effects of aging on performance in an item-recognition experiment with confidence judgments. In this task, older adults took longer to respond than younger adults, older adults exhibited a small decrease in evidence from memory compared to younger adults and a slight bias towards judging items as `old’. The difference in response times between the two age groups was primarily explained by the difference in the non-decision component of the model. These results are consistent with other research examining the effects of aging in two-choice response time tasks and response-signal tasks, and the study demonstrates that confidence judgment choice proportion and response time distribution data from older adults can be fit with the RTCON2 model. The fifth chapter is in-press as an invited book chapter in the reference book Learning and Memory: A Comprehensive Reference 2E (Ed. John Wixted). This chapter provides a basic description of the diffusion model and offers examples of how this type of modeling approach has been applied in a variety of memory domains to provide additional insight above and beyond behavioral-only or signal-detection based approaches. Advisors/Committee Members: Ratcliff, Roger (Advisor).

Subjects/Keywords: Psychology; Cognitive Psychology; psychology, models of decision-making

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APA (6th Edition):

Voskuilen, C. E. (2017). Models of Decision-Making. (Doctoral Dissertation). The Ohio State University. Retrieved from

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Voskuilen, Chelsea E. “Models of Decision-Making.” 2017. Doctoral Dissertation, The Ohio State University. Accessed October 22, 2017.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Voskuilen, Chelsea E. “Models of Decision-Making.” 2017. Web. 22 Oct 2017.


Voskuilen CE. Models of Decision-Making. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. The Ohio State University; 2017. [cited 2017 Oct 22]. Available from:

Council of Science Editors:

Voskuilen CE. Models of Decision-Making. [Doctoral Dissertation]. The Ohio State University; 2017. Available from: