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School of Biological and Chemical Sciences

Dr Magda Osman


Reader in Experimental Psychology

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 5903
Room Number: Room 2.23, Fogg building

Undergraduate Teaching

  • Essential Skills for Psychologists (Tutorials) (PSY100)
  • Final year projects (PSY600)
  • Psychology of real world decision making (PSY320)


Research Interests:

The ethos of my work has been to take a critical eye to well accepted views and challenge the status quo. As a result, my research interests cover a range of areas that include decision-making, learning, problem-solving, biases, risk and uncertainty, agency and control, and the unconscious. (see

My research helps answer questions like:
  • How do we make decisions in uncertain situation?
  • Does our unconscious rule our behaviour?
For instance, my work has shown that when  making complex decisions, we do best when we figure out what the underlying causal set up of the situation is. My work also shows that  our belief in our ability to control the world around us helps to reduce our experiences of uncertainty, and helps improve our actual ability to control different situations. My work and that of my lab also helps to show that methods, such as nudges, designed to improve our decision-making are not reliable, are ethically problematic, and that the public have concerns about them, especially if the nudges are designed by government bodies compared to scientists.

Research department