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Dr. Mike DeKay

Dr. Mike DeKay

Dr. Mike DeKay

Associate Professor, Decision, Quantitative


(614) 292-1837

224 Lazenby Hall
1827 Neil Ave.
Columbus, OH.

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  • BS in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology,
  • MS in chemistry from Cornell University
  • MA and PhD in social psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
  • Two-year postdoctoral fellowship in medical decision making at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Professor DeKay's research is focused on the psychology of judgment and decision making. Recent and ongoing research projects involve information distortion in risky and nonrisky decisions; metastudies and the generalizability of framing effects, single-play and multiple-play decisions, and perceptions of energy use and savings.


Professor DeKay holds a BS (1985) in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology, an MS (1987) in chemistry from Cornell University, and an MA (1992) and PhD (1994) in social psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder.  In 1996, he completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in medical decision making at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.  From 1996 to 2007, he was a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University, in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy and in the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management.

Selected Publications

DeKay, M. L., & Dou, S. (in press). Risky-choice framing effects result partly from mismatched option descriptions in gains and losses. Psychological Science.

DeKay, M. L., & Garge, P. P. (2023). Probabilities and the risky-choice framing effect: Evidence for an inverted-U pattern. Decision, 10(4), 289–312. https://doi.org/10.1037/dec0000214

De Boeck, P., DeKay, M. L., & Xu, M. (2022). The potential of factor analysis for replication, generalization, and integration. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 117(540), 1622–1626. https://doi.org/10.1080/01621459.2022.2096618

DeKay, M. L., Rubinchik, N., Li, Z., & De Boeck, P. (2022). Accelerating psychological science with metastudies: A demonstration using the risky-choice framing effect. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 17(6), 1704–1736. https://doi.org/10.1177/17456916221079611

De Boeck, P., DeKay, M. L., Gore, L. R., & Jeon, M. (2021). The trees and the forest: Investigating variability surrounding an aggregate result [Peer commentary on “Scientific realism and the issue of variability in behavior,” by J. F. Arocha]. Theory & Psychology, 31(3), 399–404. https://doi.org/10.1177/09593543211016084

DeKay, M. L., Schley, D. R., Miller, S. A., Erford, B. M., Sun, J., Karim, M. N., & Lanyon, M. B. (2016). The persistence of common-ratio effects in multiple-play decisionsJudgment and Decision Making, 11, 361–379.

DeKay, M. L. (2015). Predecisional information distortion and the self-fulfilling prophecy of early preferences in choiceCurrent Directions in Psychological Science, 24, 405–411.

Schley, D. R., & DeKay, M. L. (2015). Cognitive accessibility in judgments of household energy consumption.Journal of Environmental Psychology, 43, 30–41.

Small, M. J., Güvenç, Ü., & DeKay, M. L. (2014). When can scientific studies promote consensus among conflicting stakeholders? Risk Analysis, 34, 1978–1994.

DeKay, M. L., Miller, S. A., Schley, D. R., & Erford, B. M. (2014). Proleader and antitrailer information distortion and their effects on choice and postchoice memory. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 125,134–150.

Miller, S. A., DeKay, M. L., Stone, E. R, & Sorenson, C. M. (2013). Assessing the sensitivity of information distortion to four potential influences in studies of risky choiceJudgment and Decision Making, 8, 662–677.

DeKay, M. L., Stone, E. R., & Sorenson, C. M. (2012). Sizing up information distortion: Quantifying its effect on the subjective values of choice optionsPsychonomic Bulletin & Review, 19, 349–356.

DeKay, M. L., Stone, E. R., & Miller, S. A. (2011). Leader-driven distortion of probability and payoff information affects choices between risky prospectsJournal of Behavioral Decision Making, 24, 394-411.

Xu, J., Florig, H. K., & DeKay, M. L. (2011). Evaluating an analytic-deliberative risk-ranking process in a Chinese contextJournal of Risk Research, 14, 899-918.

DeKay, M. L. (2011). Are medical outcomes fungible? A survey of voters, medical administrators, and physiciansMedical Decision Making, 31, 338-353.

Attari, S. Z., DeKay, M. L., Davidson, C. I., & Bruine de Bruin, W. (2011). Reply to Frederick et al.: Anchoring effects on energy perceptions [Invited letter]Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108, E24.

Attari, S. Z., DeKay, M. L., Davidson, C. I., & Bruine de Bruin, W. (2011). Changing household behaviors to curb climate change: How hard can it be? Sustainability: The Journal of Record, 4, 9-11.

Attari, S.Z., DeKay, M.L., Davidson, C.I., & Bruine de Bruin, W. (2010). Public perceptions of energy consumption and savings. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107, 16054-16059.

DeKay, M. L., Patino-Echeverri, D., & Fischbeck, P. S. (2009). Better safe than sorry: Precautionary reasoning and implied dominance in risky decisions. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 22, 338-361. 

DeKay, M. L. (2009). Physicians' anticipated regret and diagnostic testing: Comment on Hozo & Djulbegovic, 2008. Medical Decision Making, 29, 317-319.

DeKay, M.L., Patino-Echeverri, D., & Fischbeck, P.S. (2009). Distortion of probability and outcome information in risky decisionsOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 109, 79-92.

Attari, S., Schoen, M., Davidson, C., DeKay, M. L., Bruine de Bruin, W., Dawes, R., & Small, M. (2009). Preferences for change: Do individuals prefer voluntary action, soft regulations, or hard regulations to decrease fossil fuel consumption? Ecological Economics68, 1701-1710. 

Willis, H. H., & DeKay, M. L. (2007). The roles of group membership, beliefs, and norms in ecological risk perceptionRisk Analysis27, 1365-1380. 

Bronfman, N. C., Cifuentes, L. A., DeKay, M. L., & Willis, H. H. (2007). Accounting for variation in the explanatory power of the psychometric paradigm: The effects of aggregation and focusJournal of Risk Research10, 527-554.

DeKay, M. L., Hershey, J. C., Spranca, M. D., Ubel, P. A., & Asch, D. A. (2006). Are medical treatments for individuals and groups like single-play and multiple-play gambles? Judgment and Decision Making1, 134-145.

DeKay, M. L., & Kim, T. G. (2005). When things don't add up: The role of perceived fungibility in repeated-play decisions. Psychological Science16, 667-672.

Willis, H. H., DeKay, M. L., Fischhoff, B., & Morgan, M. G. (2005). Aggregate, disaggregate, and hybrid analyses of ecological risk perceptions. Risk Analysis25, 405-428.

Willis, H. H., DeKay, M. L., Morgan, M. G., Florig, H. K., & Fischbeck, P. S. (2004). Ecological risk ranking: Development and evaluation of a method for improving public participation in environmental decision making.Risk Analysis24, 363-378.

DeKay, M. L., Small, M. J., Fischbeck, P. S., Farrow, R. S., Cullen, A., Kadane, J. B., Lave, L. B., Morgan, M. G., & Takemura, K. (2002). Risk-based decision analysis in support of precautionary policies. Journal of Risk Research5, 391-417.

DeKay, M. L., Greeno, C. G., & Houck, P. R. (2002). Searching for a two-factor model of marriage duration: Commentary on Gottman and Levenson. Family Process41, 97-103.

Florig, H. K., Morgan, M. G., Morgan, K. M., Jenni, K. E, Fischhoff, B., Fischbeck, P. S., & DeKay, M. L. (2001). A deliberative method for ranking risks (I): Overview and test bed development. Risk Analysis21, 913-921.

Morgan, K. M., DeKay, M. L., Fischbeck, P. S., Fischhoff, B., Morgan, M. G., & Florig, H. K. (2001). A deliberative method for ranking risks (II): Evaluation of validity and agreement among risk managers. Risk Analysis21, 923-937.

Morgan, M. G., Florig, H. K., DeKay, M. L., & Fischbeck, P. S. (2000). Categorizing risks for risk ranking. Risk Analysis20, 49-58.

DeKay, M. L., Nickerson, C. A. E., Ubel, P. A., Hershey, J. C., Spranca, M. D., & Asch, D. A. (2000). Further explorations of medical decisions for individuals and groups. Medical Decision Making20, 39-44.

Ubel, P. A., Spranca, M. D., DeKay, M. L., Hershey, J. C., & Asch, D. A. (1998). Public preferences for prevention versus cure: What if an ounce of prevention is worth only an ounce of cure? Medical Decision Making18, 141-148.

Asch, D. A., Hershey, J. C., DeKay, M. L., Pauly, M. V., Patton, J. P., Jedrziewski, M. K., Frei, F., Giardine, R., Kant, J. A., & Mennuti, M. T. (1998). Carrier screening for cystic fibrosis: Costs and clinical outcomes. Medical Decision Making18, 202-212.

DeKay, M. L., & Asch, D. A. (1998). Is the defensive use of diagnostic tests good for patients, or bad? Medical Decision Making18, 19-28.

DeKay, M. L., & Asch, D. A. (1998). Offensive testing-the balancing act, the evil twin, and the pure play. Medical Decision Making18, 35-36.

Asch, D. A., & DeKay, M. L. (1997). Euthanasia among U.S. critical care nurses: Practices, attitudes, and social and professional correlates. Medical Care35, 890-900.

Ubel, P. A., DeKay, M. L., Baron, J., & Asch, D. A. (1996). Public preferences for efficiency and racial equity in kidney transplant allocation decisions. Transplantation Proceedings28, 2997-3002.

DeKay, M. L. (1996). The difference between Blackstone-like error ratios and probabilistic standards of proof. Law & Social Inquiry21, 95-132.

Ubel, P. A., DeKay, M. L., Baron, J., & Asch, D. A. (1996). Cost-effectiveness analysis in a setting of budget constraints: Is it equitable? New England Journal of Medicine334, 1174-1177.

DeKay, M. L., & McClelland, G. H. (1996). Probability and utility components of endangered species preservation programs. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied2, 60-83.