Academic Staff

Dr Tim Rakow (part-time)

Staff positionReader
Telephone01206 873812

Following a BSc in Natural Sciences (mathematics and psychology; University of Durham) and several years teaching in London secondary schools, Tim Rakow completed an MSc in Research Methods for Psychology (UCL) and a Psychology PhD on pre-surgical judgement and decision making in paediatric cardiac surgery (UCL). He was appointed as a Teaching Fellow in the Department in 2000, became a Lecturer in 2004, a Senior Lecturer in 2007, and a Reader in 2012. Throughout that time, Tim has been active in teaching on a number of different undergraduate and postgraduate modules, and in conducting research on a range of topics related to judgement and decision making. Some of his recent research was funded by a Research Project Grant from the Leverhulme Trust.

Research interests
  • Judgement and decision making
  • Pre-decisional information acquisition
  • Risky choice, including decisions from experience
  • Strategies/heuristics for choice
  • Intuitive versus rules-based judgement
  • Risk communication and risk perception
  • Risk assessment
Teaching responsibilities

PS115 Statistics for Psychologists

PS118 Applied Psychology

PS300 Research Project (undergraduate)

PS488 Understanding Psychological Data


Publications since 2007

Walasek, L., Matthews, W. J., & Rakow, T. (in press). Feelings of ostracism and valuation of personal possessions: A test of the self-extension theory of ownership. Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics

Ashby, N. J. S., & Rakow, T. (in press). Eyes on the prize? Evidence of diminishing attention to experienced and forgone outcomes in repeated experienctial choice. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making.

Brown, B., & Rakow, T. (in press). Understanding clinicians' use of cues when assessing the future risk of violence: A clinical judgment analysis in the psychiatric setting. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy.

Rakow, T., Wright, R. J., Spiegelhalter, D. J., & Bull, K. (in press). The pros and cons of funnel plots as a risk communication aid for individual decisions about medical treatment. British Journal of Psychology.

Yechiam, E., Rakow, T., & Newell, B. R. (in press). Super-underweighting of rare events with repeated descriptive summaries. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 28, 67-75.

Ashby, N. J. S., & Rakow, T. (2014). Forgetting the past: Individual differences in recency in subjective valuations from experience. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 40, 1153-1162.

Walasek, L., Wright, R. J., & Rakow, T. (2014). Ownership status and the representation of assets of uncertain value: The Balloon Endowment Risk Task (BERT). Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 27, 419-432.

Rakow, T. (2014). Self-insight research as (double) model recovery. Behavioral & Brian Sciences, 37, 37-38. [Peer commentary on: Newell, B.R. & Shanks, D.R. Unconscious influences on decision making: A critical review. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 37, 1-61]

Rakow, T. (2013). If quantum probability = classical probability + bounded cognition; is this good, bad, or unnecessary? Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 36, 304-305. [Peer commentary on: Pothos, E.M., & Busemeyer, J.R. Can quantum probability provide a new direction for cognitive modeling? Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 36, 255-327.]

Newell, B. R., Koehler, D. J., James, G., Rakow, T., & Van Ravenzwaaij, D. (2013). Probability matching in risky choice: The interplay of feedback and strategy availability. Memory and Cognition, 41, 329-338. DOI: 10.3758/s13421-012-0268-3

Rakow, T., Wright, R. J., Bull, C., Spiegelhalter, D. J. (2012). Simple and multi-state survival curves: Can people learn to use them? Medical Decision Making, 32, 792-804. DOI: 10.1177/0272989X12451057

Bindemann, M., Avetisyan, M., & Rakow, T. (2012). Selecting personnel to recognize unfamiliar faces: Individual differences and observer consistency in person identification. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 18, 227-291.

Yechiam, E., & Rakow, T. (2012). The effect of foregone outcomes on choices from experience: An individual level modeling analysis. Experimental Psychology, 59, 55-67. DOI: 10.1027/1618-3169/a000126

Cahill, S., & Rakow, T. (2012). Assessing risk and prioritising referral for self-harm: When and why is my judgement different from yours? Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 19, 399-410. DOI: 10.1002/cpp.544

Newell, B. R., & Rakow, T. (2011). Revising beliefs about the merit of unconscious thought: Evidence in favor of the null hypothesis? Social Cognition, 29, 711-726.

Edwards, S. J. L., Brown, P., Twyman, M. A., Christie, D., & Rakow, T. (2011). A qualitative study of selecting surrogate decision-makers. Journal of Medical Ethics, 37, 601-605.

Liley, J., & Rakow, T. (2010). Probability estimation in poker: A qualified success for unaided judgment. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 23, 496-526.

Rakow, T. (2010). Risk, uncertainty and prophet: The psychological insights of Frank H. Knight. Judgment and Decision Making, 5, 458-466.

Rakow, T., Newell, B. R., & Zougkou, K. (2010). The role of working memory in information acquisition and decision making: Lessons from the binary prediction task. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 63, 1335-1360.

Rakow, T., & Newell, B. R. (2010). Degrees of uncertainty: An overview and framework for future research on experience-based choice. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 23, 1-14.

Rakow, T., & Rahim, S. B. (2010). Developmental insights into experience-based decision making. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 23, 69-82.
Li, S. Y. W., Rakow, T., & Newell, B.R. (2009). Personal experience in doctor and patient decision making: From psychology to medicine. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 15, 993-995.

Rakow, T., & Miler, K. (2009). Doomed to repeat the successes of the past: History is best forgotten for repeated choices with non-stationary payoffs. Memory and Cognition, 37, 985-1000.

Newell, B. R., Wong, K. Y., Cheung, J., & Rakow, T. (2009). Think, Blink or Sleep on it? The impact of modes of thought on complex decision making. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 62, 707-732.

Rakow, T., Demes, K. A., & Newell, B. R. (2008). Biased samples not mode of presentation: Re-examining the apparent underweighting of rare events in experience-based choice. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 106, 168-179.

Newell, B. R., & Rakow, T. (2007). The role of experience in decisions from description. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 14, 1133-1139.

Andersson, P., & Rakow, T. (2007). Now you see it now you don’t: The effectiveness of the recognition heuristic for selecting stocks. Judgment and Decision Making, 2, 29-39.

Additional information

Associate Editor for Thinking & Reasoning

Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making

Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

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