Dr Jonathan Rolison

Senior Lecturer
Department of Psychology
Dr Jonathan Rolison

Research and professional activities

Research interests

A major focus of my research is risk taking behaviours across adulthood. My research in this area is aimed at explaining why people become more cautious in older age and whether age changes in risk taking behaviours are beneficial or harmful. There are both theoretical and applied aspects to my work in this field. As an applied focus, I investigate the risks faced by young and elderly drivers with a view to understanding whether drivers of these ages are a danger to themselves and to other road users. Through my applied work, I have introduced new statistical tools for the assessment of driver crash risk.

A second theme in my research explores perception and communication of health risks and health-related decision making. One of my aims in this area is to develop methods for overcoming barriers to effective risk communication. For example, my recent work has shown that maths anxiety impedes understanding of numerical health risks, but that some of the negative effects of maths anxiety can be alleviated with graphical presentation aids.

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Introduction to Personal Development and Employability (PS117)

  • Applied Psychology (PS118)

  • Psychology Project (PS300)

  • Enhancing employability and career planning (PS417)

  • Advanced employability skills and career progression (PS492)

  • Ageing: Mind, Brain, and Behaviour (PS503)

  • MSc Psychology Research Project (PS900)

  • Research Project (MSc) (PS934)

  • Special Topics in Individual Differences and Developmental Psychology (PS938)


Journal articles (39)

Rolison, JJ. and Moutari, S., (2018). Risk-Exposure Density and Mileage Bias in Crash Risk for Older Drivers. American Journal of Epidemiology. 187 (1), 53-59

Rolison, JJ., Regev, S., Moutari, S. and Feeney, A., (2018). What are the factors that contribute to road accidents? An assessment of law enforcement views, ordinary drivers’ opinions, and road accident records. Accident Analysis and Prevention. 115, 11-24

Hanoch, Y., Rolison, JJ. and Freund, AM., (2018). Does Medical Risk Perception and Risk Taking Change with Age?. Risk Analysis. 38 (5), 917-928

Regev, S., Rolison, JJ. and Moutari, S., (2018). Crash risk by driver age, gender, and time of day using a new exposure methodology. Journal of Safety Research. 66, 131-140

Miron-Shatz, T., Rapaport, SR., Srebnik, N., Hanoch, Y., Rabinowitz, J., Doniger, GM., Levi, L., Rolison, JJ. and Tsafrir, A., (2018). Invasive Prenatal Diagnostic Testing Recommendations are Influenced by Maternal Age, Statistical Misconception and Perceived Liability. Journal of Genetic Counseling. 27 (1), 59-68

Hanoch, Y., Rolison, J. and Freund, AM., (2018). Reaping the Benefits and Avoiding the Risks: Unrealistic Optimism in the Health Domain. Risk Analysis

McMichael, AJ., Boeri, M., Rolison, JJ., Kane, J., O’Neill, FA., Scarpa, R. and Kee, F., (2017). The Influence of Genotype Information on Psychiatrists’ Treatment Recommendations: More Experienced Clinicians Know Better What to Ignore. Value in Health. 20 (1), 126-131

Rolison, JJ., Wood, S. and Hanoch, Y., (2017). Age and Adaptation: Stronger Decision Updating about Real World Risks in Older Age. Risk Analysis. 37 (9), 1632-1643

Rolison, JJ., Hanoch, Y. and Wood, S., (2017). Saving for the future: Dynamic effects of time horizon. Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics. 70, 47-54

Rolison, JJ. and Pachur, T., (2017). How Well Do We Know Our Inner Daredevil? Probing the Relationship Between Self-Report and Behavioral Measures of Risk Taking. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making. 30 (2), 647-657

Mercier, H., Rolison, JJ., Stragà, M., Ferrante, D., Walsh, CR. and Girotto, V., (2017). Questioning the preparatory function of counterfactual thinking. Memory and Cognition. 45 (2), 261-269

Travers, E., Rolison, JJ. and Feeney, A., (2016). The time course of conflict on the Cognitive Reflection Test. Cognition. 150, 109-118

McMichael, A., Rolison, JJ., Boeri, M., Francis, J., O?Neill, F. and Kee, F., (2016). How do psychiatrists apply the minimum clinically important difference to assess patient responses to treatment?. MDM Policy and Practice. 1 (1), 238146831667885-238146831667885

Rolison, JJ., Morsanyi, K. and O’Connor, PA., (2016). Can I Count on Getting Better? Association between Math Anxiety and Poorer Understanding of Medical Risk Reductions. Medical Decision Making. 36 (7), 876-886

Hanoch, Y., Miron-Shatz, T., Rolison, JJ., Omer, Z. and Ozanne, E., (2015). Shared decision making in patients at risk of cancer: the role of domain and numeracy. Health Expectations. 18 (6), 2799-2810

Rolison, JJ. and Hanoch, Y., (2015). Knowledge and risk perceptions of the Ebola virus in the United States. Preventive Medicine Reports. 2, 262-264

Gummerum, M., Hanoch, Y. and Rolison, JJ., (2014). Offenders’ Risk-Taking Attitude Inside and Outside the Prison Walls. Risk Analysis. 34 (10), 1870-1881

Rolison, JJ., Hanoch, Y., Wood, S. and Liu, P-J., (2014). Risk-Taking Differences Across the Adult Life Span: A Question of Age and Domain. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B. 69 (6), 870-880

Hanoch, Y., Miron-Shatz, T., Rolison, JJ. and Ozanne, E., (2014). Understanding ofBRCA1/2genetic tests results: the importance of objective and subjective numeracy. Psycho-Oncology. 23 (10), 1142-1148

Srebnik, N., Miron-Shatz, T., Rolison, JJ., Hanoch, Y. and Tsafrir, A., (2014). Physician Recommendation for Invasive Prenatal Testing. Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey. 69 (3), 131-132

Rolison, JJ., Moutari, S., Hewson, PJ. and Hellier, E., (2014). Overestimated Crash Risks of Young and Elderly Drivers. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 46 (1), 58-64

Rolison, JJ., Hanoch, Y. and Gummerum, M., (2013). When Opportunity Matters: Comparing the Risk-Taking Attitudes of Prisoners and Recently Released Ex-Prisoners. Risk Analysis. 33 (11), 2013-2022

Srebnik, N., Miron-Shatz, T., Rolison, JJ., Hanoch, Y. and Tsafrir, A., (2013). Physician recommendation for invasive prenatal testing: the case of the 'precious baby'. Human Reproduction. 28 (11), 3007-3011

Rolison, JJ., Hewson, PJ. and Hellier, E., (2013). Rolison et al. Respond. American Journal of Public Health. 103 (7), e2-e2

Rolison, JJ., Wood, S., Hanoch, Y. and Liu, P-J., (2013). Subjective Numeracy Scale as a Tool for Assessing Statistical Numeracy in Older Adult Populations. Gerontology. 59 (3), 283-288

Rolison, JJ., Hewson, PJ., Hellier, E. and Hurst, L., (2013). Risks of High-Powered Motorcycles Among Younger Adults. American Journal of Public Health. 103 (3), 568-571

Marcatto, F., Rolison, JJ. and Ferrante, D., (2013). Communicating clinical trial outcomes: Effects of presentation method on physicians' evaluations of new treatments. Judgment and Decision Making. 8 (1), 29-33

Rolison, JJ., Hanoch, Y. and Gummerum, M., (2013). Characteristics of offenders: the HEXACO model of personality as a framework for studying offenders’ personality. The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology. 24 (1), 71-82

Hanoch, Y., Rolison, J. and Gummerum, M., (2013). Good things come to those who wait: Time discounting differences between adult offenders and nonoffenders. Personality and Individual Differences. 54 (1), 128-132

Rolison, JJ., Hewson, PJ. and Hellier, E., (2013). Rolison et al. respond. American journal of public health. 103 (7), creators-Rolison=3AJonathan_J=3A=3A

Hanoch, Y., Gummerum, M. and Rolison, J., (2012). Second-to-Fourth Digit Ratio and Impulsivity: A Comparison between Offenders and Nonoffenders. PLoS ONE. 7 (10), e47140-e47140

Rolison, JJ., Hanoch, Y. and Miron-Shatz, T., (2012). What do men understand about lifetime risk following genetic testing? The effect of context and numeracy.. Health Psychology. 31 (4), 530-533

Rolison, JJ., Hanoch, Y. and Wood, S., (2012). Risky decision making in younger and older adults: The role of learning.. Psychology and Aging. 27 (1), 129-140

Rolison, JJ., Hewson, PJ., Hellier, E. and Husband, P., (2012). Risk of Fatal Injury in Older Adult Drivers, Passengers, and Pedestrians. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 60 (8), 1504-1508

Rolison, JJ., Evans, JSBT., Dennis, I. and Walsh, CR., (2012). Dual-processes in learning and judgment: Evidence from the multiple cue probability learning paradigm. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. 118 (2), 189-202

Rolison, JJ., Hanoch, Y. and Miron-Shatz, T., (2012). Smokers: At risk for prostate cancer but unlikely to screen. Addictive Behaviors. 37 (6), 736-738

Rolison, JJ., (2012). The Role of Formal Structure in Liking for Popular Music. Music Perception: An Interdisciplinary Journal. 29 (3), 269-284

Hanoch, Y., Gummerum, M. and Rolison, JJ., (2012). Second-to-fourth digit ratio and impulsivity: a comparison between offenders and nonoffenders.. PloS One. 7 (10), creators-Rolison=3AJonathan_J=3A=3A

Rolison, JJ., Evans, JSBT., Walsh, CR. and Dennis, I., (2011). The Role of Working Memory Capacity in Multiple-Cue Probability Learning. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. 64 (8), 1494-1514

Grants and funding


Provide KTP 2018



A New Metric for the Assessment of Driver Crash Risks

Engineering & Physical Sciences Res.Council

The development of a new road accident reporting system

The Secretary of State for Transport

+44 (0) 1206 874882


2.718, Colchester Campus