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Heidi Jiang

Sc.B. Cognitive Neuroscience

Honors thesis: The Role of Disabling Conditions in Predictive and Diagnostic Reasoning

Thesis advisor: Steven Sloman

Heidi Jiang
Heidi Jiang

Heidi's thesis concerns how people reason about causality. Specifically, she studied what information people attend to when they reason from cause to effect (predictive reasoning) as opposed to when they reason from effect to cause (diagnostic reasoning). Heidi developed experimental materials and ran three experiments to test her hypothesis that people neglect certain kinds of information when they think diagnostically. To derive predictions for this work, she deployed mathematical notions relating causality to probability. Heidi and her thesis advisor plan to publish this work after collecting more data.

The Committee selected Heidi's thesis for the Distinguished Senior Thesis Award because of its original contribution to scholarship, for its nuanced methods, and for its clear explanations of reasoning and causality. Heidi is now working at a lab at the Stanford School of Medicine and plans to pursue a Ph.D. in behavioral neuroscience.