Anthony W. McCoy
Advisor: Dr. Michael Young
Description of Research
People are forced to make choices daily and often these choices involve dynamically unfolding environments and the properties of these environments must be tracked by people in order to maximize choice utility. The broad goal of my research is to understand how people make decisions in these dynamically unfolding environments, specifically I am interested in defining the underlying neural mechanisms involved in dynamic choice behavior.
Historically the field of dynamic decision making has focused on training individuals to perform more optimally in complex environments, (see Osman 2010 for a review of the dynamic decision making literature). Research in this field tends to trade-off between ecological validity and the ability to understand the underlying mechanisms of behavior in these tasks. These tasks tend to closely mirror real-world decision making environments (such as the water distribution plant task), but are so complex that studying the cognitive and neural mechanisms are nearly impossible. Conversely simple decision making tasks (such as the hypothetical money choice task) have very little ecological validity, but tend to facilitate understanding the underlying mechanisms. I am interested in using intermediately dynamic tasks (IDTs), such as the BART, where ability to understand the underlying mechanisms and ecological validity are more evenly compromised. Notably, I have been adapting IDTs for use in electroencephalographic research.
Young, M.E., Webb, T.L., Rung, J.M., & McCoy, A.W. (in preparation). Outcome probability versus magnitude: When waiting benefits one at the cost of the other.
McCoy, A.W., & Young, M.E. (2013, November). Variations on the Balloon Analogue Risk Task. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making, Toronto, ON.
Wieth, M.B., & McCoy, A.W. (2011, November). Interhemispheric processing and the anchoring heuristic. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Seattle, WA.
Wilson, W.J., Ferrara, N.C., Kus, J.E., McCoy, A.W., Blaker, A.L., Rivard, J.S., Giddings, C.E., Rao, S.K., & Davis, M. (2011, November). Earthworms in the behavioral neuroscience laboratory course. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Washington D.C.
McCoy, A.W., Wieth, M.B., Christopher, A.N., & Hill, E.D. (2011, May). Within-hemisphere processing increases reliance on the anchoring heuristic. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, Washington, D.C.
McCoy, A.W., Wieth, M.B., & Helder, E. (2010, May). Sudoku: Memory for digits and irrelevant information. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, Boston, MA.
Teaching Experience (TA)
- Introduction to Psychology Fall 2011-Spring ‘12 (SIU)
- Research Design and Analysis II Fall 2010-Spring ‘11 (Albion College)
B.A. – Psychological Science – Albion College, 2011
- Cell and Molecular Biology Minor
- Neuroscience Concentration
Office: Bluemont Hall 503