Ian Krajbich


Ian Krajbich

Associate Professor
Primary Area: Cognitive Psychology
Email: krajbich@ucla.edu
Lab Website: https://krajbichlab.psych.ucla.edu

Research and Teaching Interests:

When people make decisions, they don’t immediately know what to choose.  Instead, they evaluate their options over time, gathering and comparing evidence in their support.  This choice process relies on visual attention, memory, reward associations, goal alignment, strategic considerations, etc.  When it’s less obvious which option to choose, people take longer to decide and shift their attention back and forth between the options.

In the Krajbich lab, we study the choice process to better understand people’s preferences.  We develop and test mathematical models of the choice process, drawing on insights from economics, psychology, neuroscience, and marketing.  These models incorporate choice-process measures like response times, eye tracking, mouse tracking, and brain imaging, to better predict people’s choices.  We study all types of choices, but mostly ones having to do with preferences.  These decisions range from choosing between snack foods in the lab, to bargaining over goods on eBay. A key insight from our work is that decision-making is a continuously evolving, noisy process, and so can yield systematically different choices over time. This challenges the standard notion that people have stable preferences, but also the behavioral notion that people use heuristics or rules to make their decisions.


Ian obtained his B.S. in Physics and Business Economics & Management at Caltech, then stayed at Caltech do his M.Sc. in Social Sciences and Ph.D. in Behavioral and Social Neuroscience under the guidance of Antonio Rangel, Colin Camerer, Ralph Adolphs and John Ledyard. After leaving Caltech, he spent 2011-2013 in Switzerland at the University of Zurich doing a postdoc with Ernst Fehr.  From 2013-2023, he was a faculty member at The Ohio State University (OSU) in the Department of Psychology and the Department of Economics. From 2019-2023 he also served as the Director of OSU’s Decision Sciences Collaborative.

Curriculum Vitae

Representative Publications: