Alistair Thorpe

Postgraduate Research Student
Department of Psychology
 Alistair Thorpe


Ask me about
  • Medical Decision Making
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Behavioral Medicine
  • Risk communication and probabilistic reasoning
  • Data Analysis (R, SPSS)


My main research interest is on the psychological and cognitive elements pertinent to the formation, and maintenance, of decision-making and reasoning strategies in medical contexts. In light of the increasing threat of antibiotic resistance, I am currently exploring the influence of affective beliefs, cognitive biases, and social preferences on inappropriate expectations for antibiotics to treat infections of viral aetiology. My broader research interests also extend to theoretical understanding of similar processes outside of medical settings. For example, as an undergraduate my dissertation explored a recently discovered violation of one of the normative principles of statistical decision theory. Publications Galli, G., Sirota, M., Gruber, M.J., Ivanof, B. E., Ganesh, J., Materassi, M., Thorpe, A., Loaiza, V., Cappelletti, M., & Craik, F. I. M. (2018). Learning facts during aging: the benefits of curiosity. Experimental Aging Research, 1-18. doi:10.1080/0361073X.2018.1477355. Zimmerman, S., Thorpe, A., Fox, C., & Kruschwitz, U. (2019, July). Investigating the Interplay Between Searchers' Privacy Concerns and Their Search Behavior. In Proceedings of the 42nd International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval (pp. 953-956). ACM. doi: 10.1145/3331184.3331280 Zimmerman, S., Thorpe, A., Fox, C., & Kruschwitz, U. (2019, March). Privacy Nudging in Search: Investigating Potential Impacts. In Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval (pp. 283-287). ACM. doi: 10.1145/3295750.3298952 Presentations Thorpe, A., Sirota, M., Orbell, S., & Juanchich, M. (2018). Effect of Information on Reducing Inappropriate Expectations and Requests for Antibiotics. Society for Medical Decision Making, Leiden University Medical Center Thorpe, A., & Sirota, M. (2016) Re-examining the severity effect. British Conference of Undergraduate Research, Manchester Metropolitan University. Thorpe, A., & Sirota, M. (2016) Experience-based severity in a situation of risk and uncertainty. Eastern ARC Quantitative Social Sciences, University of Kent: Non-peer reviewed articles Thorpe, A., & OGorman, R. (2016). Memo To Jeff Bezos: The Most Productive Workers Are Team Players, Not Selfish Individualists. This View of Life Magazine. Teaching Responsibilities PS115 - Statistics for Psychologists (Undergraduate) PS946 - Fundamental Statistics For Research (Postgraduate)


  • BSc Psychology - 1st Class Honours (2016)

Research and professional activities


Cognitive mechanisms underlying inappropriate expectations for antibiotics in primary care

Supervisor: Miroslav Sirota

Research interests

The role of cognitive biases on sub-optimal medical decision making

Applying social and cognitive insights to shared decision making

Health communications and interventions for modifying health behaviours



Colchester Campus

Working pattern:

Full Time