Dr Bruce Burns

A19 - Griffith Taylor Building
The University of Sydney


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Biographical details

Academic Positions

Senior lecturer, School of Psychology, University of Sydney, 2005 to present.

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, 1998 to 2005

Academic Qualifications

BSc (hons): University of Melbourne, Australia, 1987

PhD: University of California, Los Angeles, 1994

Research interests

Overall, my work aims to understand how knowledge is represented and used. Towards this aim, I have worked on a number of issues in higher-order cognition. In particular: - Decision making and streaks - Goal specificity in problem solving - Reasoning and causality (Monty Hall dilemma) - Chess skill - Competition as problem solving - Analogical reasoning - Motivation and problem solving

Selected grants

2011

  • The role of models in learning with complex tasks; Burns B; German Research Foundation/Research Grant.

2010

  • Investigating Benfords law and decision making; Burns B; DVC Research/Bridging Support Grant.

2007

  • How streaks of events bias peoples decisions; Burns B; University of Sydney/Bridging Support.

2006

  • Hormones and decision making: Riskiness changes across the menstrual cycle; Burns B; University of Sydney/Early Career Researcher.
  • University of Sydney - Bridging Support Grant; Burns B; University of Sydney/Bridging Support.

Selected publications

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Journals

  • Connors, M., Burns, B., Campitelli, G. (2011). Expertise in complex decision making: The role of search in chess 70 years after de Groot. Cognitive Science, 35(8), 1567-1579. [More Information]
  • Wieth, M., Burns, B. (2006). Incentives improve performance on both incremental and insight problem solving. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 59(8), 1378-1394.
  • Altmann, E., Burns, B. (2005). Streak biases in decision making: data and a memory model. Cognitive Systems Research, 6(1), 5-16.
  • Burns, B. (2004). Heuristics as beliefs and as behaviors: The adaptiveness of the "hot hand". Cognitive Psychology, 48, 295-331. [More Information]
  • Burns, B., Corpus, B. (2004). Randomness and inductions from streaks: "Gambler's fallacy" versus "Hot hand". Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 11(1), 179-184.
  • Burns, B., Wieth, M. (2004). The Collider principle in causal reasoning: Why the Monty Hall dilemma is so hard. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 133(3), 434-449.
  • Burns, B. (2004). The effects of speed on skilled chess performance. Psychological Science, 15(7), 442-447.
  • Burns, B. (2003). Experimental Law? Lessons from experimental economics on applying psychological research to the law. Michigan State Law Review, Winter 2003(4), 955-966.
  • Vollmeyer, R., Burns, B. (2002). Goal Specificity and Learning with a Hypermedia Program. Experimental Psychology, 49(2), 98-108.
  • Burns, B., Vollmeyer, R. (2002). Goal specificity effects on hypothesis testing in problem solving. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. Section A-Human Experimental Psychology, 55A(1), 241-261.
  • Rheinberg, F., Vollmeyer, R., Burns, B. (2001). FAM: Ein Fragebogen zur Erfassung aktueller Motivation in Lern- und Leistungssituationen [QCM: A questionnaire to assess current motivation in learning situations]. Diagnostica, 47, 57-66.

Conferences

  • Burns, B. (2013). Probabilistic reasoning in the two-envelope problem. 35th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (COGSCI 2013), Austin, Texas: Cognitive Science Society.
  • Burns, B. (2011). Adaptive uses of random criterion: The largest number problem, the two-envelope problem, and the anchoring and adjustment heuristic. 33rd Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (COGSCI 2011), Austin, Texas, USA: Cognitive Science Society.
  • Burns, B. (2009). Sensitivity to statistical regularities: People (largely) follow Benford's law. 31st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society CogSci 2009, United States: Cognitive Science Society.
  • Burns, B., Cox, C., Sheridan, A. (2008). The Role of Mechanism in Expectations About the Future: Luck and Skill. CogSci 2008: 30th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, USA: Cognitive Science Society.
  • Burns, B. (2006). Cognitive neuroendocrinology: Risk preference changes across the menstrual cycle. CogSci/ICCS 2006: 28th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society in cooperation with the 5th International Conference of the Cognitive Science, United States: Cognitive Science Society.
  • Burns, B., Gernaat, E. (2004). Recognition effects and noncompensatory decision making strategies. Cogsci 2004: 26th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, United States: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.
  • Altmann, E., Burns, B. (2004). Streak biases in decision making: Data and a memory model. Sixth International Conference on Cognitive Modelling, United States: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis.
  • Burns, B., Wieth, M. (2003). Causality and Reasoning: The Monty Hall Dilemma. CogSci 2003: 25th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, United States: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis.
  • Burns, B. (2003). When it is adaptive to follow streaks: Variability and stocks. CogSci 2003: 25th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, United States: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis.
  • Burns, B. (2001). The hot hand in basketball: Fallacy or adaptive thinking? CogSci 2001: 23rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, United States: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.

2013

  • Burns, B. (2013). Probabilistic reasoning in the two-envelope problem. 35th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (COGSCI 2013), Austin, Texas: Cognitive Science Society.

2011

  • Burns, B. (2011). Adaptive uses of random criterion: The largest number problem, the two-envelope problem, and the anchoring and adjustment heuristic. 33rd Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (COGSCI 2011), Austin, Texas, USA: Cognitive Science Society.
  • Connors, M., Burns, B., Campitelli, G. (2011). Expertise in complex decision making: The role of search in chess 70 years after de Groot. Cognitive Science, 35(8), 1567-1579. [More Information]

2009

  • Burns, B. (2009). Sensitivity to statistical regularities: People (largely) follow Benford's law. 31st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society CogSci 2009, United States: Cognitive Science Society.

2008

  • Burns, B., Cox, C., Sheridan, A. (2008). The Role of Mechanism in Expectations About the Future: Luck and Skill. CogSci 2008: 30th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, USA: Cognitive Science Society.

2006

  • Burns, B. (2006). Cognitive neuroendocrinology: Risk preference changes across the menstrual cycle. CogSci/ICCS 2006: 28th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society in cooperation with the 5th International Conference of the Cognitive Science, United States: Cognitive Science Society.
  • Wieth, M., Burns, B. (2006). Incentives improve performance on both incremental and insight problem solving. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 59(8), 1378-1394.

2005

  • Altmann, E., Burns, B. (2005). Streak biases in decision making: data and a memory model. Cognitive Systems Research, 6(1), 5-16.

2004

  • Burns, B. (2004). Heuristics as beliefs and as behaviors: The adaptiveness of the "hot hand". Cognitive Psychology, 48, 295-331. [More Information]
  • Burns, B., Corpus, B. (2004). Randomness and inductions from streaks: "Gambler's fallacy" versus "Hot hand". Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 11(1), 179-184.
  • Burns, B., Gernaat, E. (2004). Recognition effects and noncompensatory decision making strategies. Cogsci 2004: 26th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, United States: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.
  • Altmann, E., Burns, B. (2004). Streak biases in decision making: Data and a memory model. Sixth International Conference on Cognitive Modelling, United States: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis.
  • Burns, B., Wieth, M. (2004). The Collider principle in causal reasoning: Why the Monty Hall dilemma is so hard. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 133(3), 434-449.
  • Burns, B. (2004). The effects of speed on skilled chess performance. Psychological Science, 15(7), 442-447.

2003

  • Burns, B., Wieth, M. (2003). Causality and Reasoning: The Monty Hall Dilemma. CogSci 2003: 25th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, United States: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis.
  • Burns, B. (2003). Experimental Law? Lessons from experimental economics on applying psychological research to the law. Michigan State Law Review, Winter 2003(4), 955-966.
  • Burns, B. (2003). When it is adaptive to follow streaks: Variability and stocks. CogSci 2003: 25th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, United States: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis.

2002

  • Vollmeyer, R., Burns, B. (2002). Goal Specificity and Learning with a Hypermedia Program. Experimental Psychology, 49(2), 98-108.
  • Burns, B., Vollmeyer, R. (2002). Goal specificity effects on hypothesis testing in problem solving. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. Section A-Human Experimental Psychology, 55A(1), 241-261.

2001

  • Rheinberg, F., Vollmeyer, R., Burns, B. (2001). FAM: Ein Fragebogen zur Erfassung aktueller Motivation in Lern- und Leistungssituationen [QCM: A questionnaire to assess current motivation in learning situations]. Diagnostica, 47, 57-66.
  • Burns, B. (2001). The hot hand in basketball: Fallacy or adaptive thinking? CogSci 2001: 23rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, United States: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.

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