Dr Miroslav Sirota

Department of Psychology
Dr Miroslav Sirota



I obtained my PhD from Comenius University (Slovakia) in 2008. Before moving to the United Kingdom in 2010, I worked as a statistician for reasearch companies and held a teaching fellow position.I did my post-doctoral research at the University of Hertfordshire (2010-11) and King's College London (2011-2014). Before joining our department in 2015 I was a lecturer at Kingston University (2014-15). Recent grants 2016 - 2017 Does error detection equals to error correction in dual process theories? Sirota, M.; role: principal investigator Experimental Psychological Society (£2,500) 2015 -2019 Interventions for prejudice reduction against stigmatized minorities Lasticova et al.; role: co-investigator Slovak Research and Development Agency (£ 180,593) 2015 -2016 Measuring intuition inhibition without math: Developing a verbal test of cognitive reflection ability Sirota, M., Juanchich, M.; role: principal investigator British Academy (£9,690) 2015 -2018 Optimising the quality of social work decisions in supervision Juanchich, M., Jenkinson, A., Sirota, M., Manthorpe, J.; role: co-investigator National Institute for Health Research (£ 361,091) 2015-2018 Investigating delays in the detection of early cancers within primary care: an exploration of GPs decision making based on Signal Detection Theory Kostopoulou, O., Sirota, M., Delaney, B., Wang, Y.; role: co-investigator Cancer Research UK (£ 308,944) 2014-2017 Uncertainty communication and climate changes Teigen, K-H, Juanchich, M., Sirota, M.,role: co-investigator The Research Council of Norway,6,100,000 NOK (£ 523,420)


  • PhD.

  • MSc.


University of Essex

  • Lecturer, Psychology University of Essex ( 1/9/2015 - present )

Research and professional activities

Research interests

In my research, I am trying to understand how people estimate, judge, reason and make decisions in situations of uncertainty and risk, how people perform these processes on their own and in the presence of the others, and how people perform these processes in the lab and in the wild.

My basic research interests include perceptions of verbal probabilities, statistical reasoning, and intuitive and deliberative processing. My applied research interests include uncertainty and risk communication (e.g., climate change communication, communication between patients and doctors), and diagnostic and management decision-making of doctors.

Teaching and supervision

  • Statistics for Psychologists (PS115)

  • Introduction to Personal Development and Employability (PS117)

  • Enhancing employability and career planning (PS417)

  • Advanced employability skills and career progression (PS492)

  • MSc Psychology Research Project (PS900)

  • Quantitative Data Analysis (PS910)

  • Research Project (MSc) (PS934)

  • Special Topics in Perception and Cognition (PS940)


Journals (40)

Costantini, M., Migliorati, D., Donno, D., Sirota, M. and Ferri, F., (2018). Expected but omitted stimuli affect crossmodal interaction. Cognition. 171

Sirota, M., Kostopoulou, O., Round, T. and Samaranayaka, S., (2017). Prevalence and alternative explanations influence cancer diagnosis: An experimental study with physicians.. Health Psychology. 36 (5)

Sirota, M., Round, T., Samaranayaka, S. and Kostopoulou, O., (2017). Expectations for antibiotics increase their prescribing: Causal evidence about localized impact.. Health Psychology. 36 (4)

Galli, G., Feurra, M., Pavone, EF., Sirota, M. and Rossi, S., (2017). Dynamic changes in prefrontal cortex involvement during verbal episodic memory formation. Biological Psychology. 125

Kostopoulou, O., Sirota, M., Round, T., Samaranayaka, S. and Delaney, BC., (2017). The Role of Physicians’ First Impressions in the Diagnosis of Possible Cancers without Alarm Symptoms. Medical Decision Making. 37 (1)

Vallee-Tourangeau, G., Promberger, M., Moon, K., Wheelock, A., Sirota, M., Norton, C. and Sevdalis, N., (2017). Motors of influenza vaccination uptake and vaccination advocacy in healthcare workers: Development and validation of two short scales. Vaccine

Sirota, M., Juanchich, M., Petrova, D., Garcia-Retamero, R., Walasek, L. and Bhatia, S., (2017). Health professionals prefer to communicate risk-related numerical information using "1-in-X" ratios. Medical Decision Making

Juanchich, MMG. and Sirota, M., (2017). How Much Will the Sea Level Rise? Outcome Selection and Subjective Probability in Climate Change Predictions. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied. 23 (4)

Juanchich, MMG., Gourdon-Kanhukamwe, A. and Sirota, M., (2017). “I am uncertain” vs “It is uncertain”. How linguistic markers of the uncertainty source affect uncertainty communication. Judgment and Decision Making. 12 (5)

Galli, G., Sirota, M., Materassi, M., Zaninotto, F. and Terry, P., (2017). Brain indices of disagreement with one's social values predict EU referendum voting behavior.. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. 12 (11)

Vallée-Tourangeau, F., Steffensen, SV., Vallée-Tourangeau, G. and Sirota, M., (2016). Insight with hands and things. Acta Psychologica. 170

Vallee-Tourangeau, F., Sirota, M. and Vallee-Tourangeau, G., (2016). Interactivity Mitigates the Impact of Working Memory Depletion on Mental Arithmetic Performance. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications. 1 (26)

Juanchich, M. and Sirota, M., (2016). How to improve people's interpretation of probabilities of precipitation. Journal of Risk Research. 19 (3)

Juanchich, M., Dewberry, C., Sirota, M. and Narendran, S., (2016). Cognitive Reflection Predicts Real-Life Decision Outcomes, but Not Over and Above Personality and Decision-Making Styles. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making. 29 (1)

Vallée-Tourangeau, F., Sirota, M. and Vallée-Tourangeau, G., (2016). Interactivity mitigates the impact of working memory depletion on mental arithmetic performance. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications. 1 (1)

Sirota, M. and Juanchich, M., (2015). A direct and comprehensive test of two postulates of politeness theory applied to uncertainty communication. Judgment and Decision Making. 10 (3)

Vall�e-Tourangeau, G., Sirota, M., Juanchich, M. and Vall�e-Tourangeau, F., (2015). Beyond getting the numbers right: what does it mean to be a "successful" Bayesian reasoner?. Frontiers in Psychology. 6 (712)

Navarrete, G., Correia, R., Sirota, M., Juanchich, M. and Huepe, D., (2015). Doctor, what does my positive test mean? From Bayesian textbook tasks to personalized risk communication. Frontiers in Psychology. 6

Juanchich, M. and Sirota, M., (2015). How to improve people's interpretation of probabilities of precipitation. Journal of Risk Research

Sirota, M., Kostovi?ov�, L. and Vall�e-Tourangeau, F., (2015). How to train your Bayesian: A problem-representation transfer rather than a format-representation shift explains training effects. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. 68 (1)

Gilhooly, KJ., Georgiou, GJ., Sirota, M. and Paphiti-Galeano, A., (2015). Incubation and suppression processes in creative problem solving. Thinking & Reasoning. 21 (1)

Sirota, M., Kostovi?ov�, L. and Vall�e-Tourangeau, F., (2015). Now you Bayes, now you don?t: effects of set-problem and frequency-format mental representations on statistical reasoning. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. 22 (5)

Sirota, M., Vall�e-Tourangeau, G., Vall�e-Tourangeau, F. and Juanchich, M., (2015). On Bayesian problem-solving: helping Bayesians solve simple Bayesian word problems. Frontiers in Psychology. 6 (1141)

Sirota, M., Juanchich, M., Kostopoulou, O. and Hanak, R., (2014). Decisive Evidence on a Smaller-Than-You-Think Phenomenon. Medical Decision Making. 34 (4)

Sirota, M., Juanchich, M. and Hagmayer, Y., (2014). Ecological rationality or nested sets? Individual differences in cognitive processing predict Bayesian reasoning. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. 21 (1)

Sirota, M., Kostovičová, L. and Juanchich, M., (2014). The effect of iconicity of visual displays on statistical reasoning: evidence in favor of the null hypothesis. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. 21 (4)


Juanchich, M. and Sirota, M., (2013). Do people really say it is “likely” when they believe it is only “possible”? Effect of politeness on risk communication. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. 66 (7)

Juanchich, M., Sirota, M., Karelitz, TM. and Villejoubert, G., (2013). Can membership-functions capture the directionality of verbal probabilities?. Thinking & Reasoning. 19 (2)

Sirota, M. and Juanchich, M., (2012). Risk Communication on Shaky Ground. Science. 338 (6112)

Sirota, M. and Juanchich, M., (2012). To what extent do politeness expectations shape risk perception? Even numerical probabilities are under their spell!. Acta Psychologica. 141 (3)

Juanchich, M., Sirota, M. and Butler, CL., (2012). The perceived functions of linguistic risk quantifiers and their effect on risk, negativity perception and decision making. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. 118 (1)

Cavojova, V., Sirota, M. and Belovicova, Z., (2012). Slovak validation of the Basic Empathy Scale in pre-adolescents.. STUDIA PSYCHOLOGICA. 54 (3)

Gilhooly, KJ., Georgiou, GJ., Garrison, J., Reston, JD. and Sirota, M., (2012). Don’t wait to incubate: Immediate versus delayed incubation in divergent thinking. Memory & Cognition. 40 (6)

Sirota, M. and Juanchich, M., (2011). Role of numeracy and cognitive reflection in bayesian reasoning with natural frequencies. Studia Psychologica. 53 (2)

Cavojova, V., Belovicova, Z. and Sirota, M., (2011). Mindreading and emphaty as predictors of prosocial behavior.. STUDIA PSYCHOLOGICA. 53 (4)

Sirota, M., (2008). The evidence of Bayesian reasoning and its place in the context of the empirical argument about rationality. FILOZOFIA. 63 (5)

Galli, G., Sirota, M., Gruber, MJ., Ivanof, BE., Ganesh, J., Materassi, M., Thorpe, A., Loaiza, V., Cappelletti, M. and Craik, FIM., Learning facts during aging: the benefits of curiosity. Experimental Aging Research

Juanchich, MMG., Sirota, M. and Walasek, L., Decision-makers are resilient in the face of social exclusion. British Journal of Psychology

Sirota, M. and Juanchich, M., Effect of response format on cognitive reflection: Validating a two- and four-option multiple choice question version of the Cognitive Reflection Test. Behavior Research Methods

Conferences (1)

Kostopoulou, O., Sirota, M., Round, T., Samaranayaka, S. and Delaney, B., (2014). The role of information gathering and physician experience in detecting early presentations of cancer in primary care

Grants and funding


Measuring Intuition Inhibition without Math

The British Academy

+44 (0) 1206 874229


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