Pooja P. Reddy


For Pooja Reddy, participating in undergraduate research made her textbook education come to life. Meeting other students who were doing research inspired her to achieve excellence in her own project and made her feel more capable and confident. Pooja advises undergraduate students to get involved with research as quickly as possible and to be prepared for the ways in which it will enrich their educational experience. Now that Pooja has graduated from UCI, she is teaching English in Japan and will eventually pursue a Ph.D. in Cognitive and Experimental Psychology. Pooja’s fascination with Japanese culture has led her to practice Aikido, a Japanese martial art. Reading is also a favorite hobby. triangle.gif (504 bytes)




Most models of decision making assume a decision criterion is necessary and that this criterion is static. However, many everyday decisions are made in a dynamic environment. When two decision environments vary in accuracy, with the accurate environment having higher hit rates and lower false alarm rates, a mirror effect is said to occur. Mirror effects are important because they shed light on how people set their decision criteria, but the dynamic course of these effects is not understood. Here we used alternating easy and hard decision environments to induce shifts in decision criteria. A traditional study-test experimental paradigm was employed and the accuracy of recognition memory for pictures was measured. The data indicate that there are slow, systematic changes in decision criteria that lag behind the physical changes in the decision environment. These findings have important implications for models of decision making. triangle.gif (504 bytes)

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Faculty Mentor                                                                                                                

Scott D. Brown

School of 
Social Sciences

Pooja Reddy’s work in our lab investigates the manner in which people search their memory for studied pictures. More specifically, people must use different memory retrieval methods depending on the difficulty of the memorized stimuli. Pooja used cleverly-constructed images to manipulate the difficulty of a memory task. She then used a signal detection analysis to demonstrate that people are able to adjust their behavior to perform more-or-less optimally in different situations. Pooja’s work has stimulated a productive research strand in our laboratory that will continue for several years. triangle.gif (504 bytes)

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