Dr Adrian Banks

Research Interests

I am interested in understanding how people think, such as how people reason and make decisions, and in using this knowledge to improve their thinking. Currently I am investigating the cognitive mechanisms underpinning dual process theories of cognition. I uncover these mechanisms using behavioural and electrophysiological methods and explore them further with computational models. For example, some recent findings have shown these cognitive mechanisms operate in parallel based on a process in which the most relevant, rather than the most logical, conclusions are more likely to be retained during reasoning.

This research has practical importance, as understanding thinking suggests methods to improve it. Some recent projects include: work to improve military decision making under stress through eliciting expert fast and frugal heuristics and training novices to apply them. Within the CLYMBOL project we investigated how consumers' reasoning about health claims is determined by their network of causal beliefs about food and health. Within the PD_manager project we are investigating how decisions are made in the management in Parkinson’s disease.

Departmental Duties

Director of Modular Master's Programme

MSc Exams Officer

Contact Me

E-mail:
Phone: 01483 68 9435

Find me on campus
Room: 32 AD 02


My office hoursThursday 12-2

Publications

Highlights

  • Banks AP, Hope C. (2014) 'Heuristic and analytic processes in reasoning: An event-related potential study of belief bias'. Psychophysiology, 51 (3), pp. 290-297.

    Abstract

    Human reasoning involves both heuristic and analytic processes. This study of belief bias in relational reasoning investigated whether the two processes occur serially or in parallel. Participants evaluated the validity of problems in which the conclusions were either logically valid or invalid and either believable or unbelievable. Problems in which the conclusions presented a conflict between the logically valid response and the believable response elicited a more positive P3 than problems in which there was no conflict. This shows that P3 is influenced by the interaction of belief and logic rather than either of these factors on its own. These findings indicate that belief and logic influence reasoning at the same time, supporting models in which belief-based and logical evaluations occur in parallel but not theories in which belief-based heuristic evaluations precede logical analysis. © 2013 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  • Banks AP. (2013) 'The Influence of Activation Level on Belief Bias in Relational Reasoning'. Cognitive Science, 37 (3), pp. 544-577.

    Abstract

    A novel explanation of belief bias in relational reasoning is presented based on the role of working memory and retrieval in deductive reasoning, and the influence of prior knowledge on this process. It is proposed that belief bias is caused by the believability of a conclusion in working memory which influences its activation level, determining its likelihood of retrieval and therefore its effect on the reasoning process. This theory explores two main influences of belief on the activation levels of these conclusions. First, believable conclusions have higher activation levels and so are more likely to be recalled during the evaluation of reasoning problems than unbelievable conclusions, and therefore, they have a greater influence on the reasoning process. Secondly, prior beliefs about the conclusion have a base level of activation and may be retrieved when logically irrelevant, influencing the evaluation of the problem. The theory of activation and memory is derived from the Atomic Components of Thought-Rational (ACT-R) cognitive architecture and so this account is formalized in an ACT-R cognitive model. Two experiments were conducted to test predictions of this model. Experiment 1 tested strength of belief and Experiment 2 tested the impact of a concurrent working memory load. Both of these manipulations increased the main effect of belief overall and in particular raised belief-based responding in indeterminately invalid problems. These effects support the idea that the activation level of conclusions formed during reasoning influences belief bias. This theory adds to current explanations of belief bias by providing a detailed specification of the role of working memory and how it is influenced by prior knowledge. © 2012 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

Journal articles

  • Husted M, Banks AP, Seiss E. (2016) 'Eating behaviour associated with differences in conflict adaptation for food pictures'. Elsevier Appetite, 105, pp. 630-637.

    Abstract

    Objective: The goal conflict model of eating (Stroebe, Mensink, Aarts, Schut, & Kruglanski, ( 2008) proposes differences in eating behaviour result from peoples’ experience of holding conflicting goals of eating enjoyment and weight maintenance. However, little is understood about the relationship between eating behaviour and the cognitive processes involved in conflict. This study aims to investigate associations between eating behaviour traits and cognitive conflict processes, specifically the application of cognitive control when processing distracting food pictures. Method: A flanker task using food and non-food pictures was used to examine individual differences in conflict adaptation. Participants responded to target pictures whilst ignoring distracting flanking pictures. Individual differences in eating behaviour traits, attention towards target pictures, and ability to apply cognitive control through adaptation to conflicting picture trials were analysed. Results: Increased levels of external and emotional eating were related to slower responses to food pictures indicating food target avoidance. All participants showed greater distraction by food compared to non-food pictures. Of particular significance, increased levels of emotional eating were associated with greater conflict adaptation for conflicting food pictures only. Conclusion: Emotional eaters demonstrate greater application of cognitive control for conflicting food pictures as part of a food avoidance strategy. This could represent an attempt to inhibit their eating enjoyment goal in order for their weight maintenance goal to dominate.

  • Uther M, Banks AP. (2016) 'The influence of affordances on user preferences for multimedia language learning applications'. TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD BEHAVIOUR & INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, 35 (4), pp. 277-289.
  • Michailidis E, Banks AP. (2016) 'The Effects of Burnout on Risk taking in Workplace Decision Making and Decision Making Style.'. Taylor & Francis Work and Stress,
    [ Status: Accepted ]

    Abstract

    The study aimed to investigate what type of decision styles are exhibited by employees who experience burnout. Using a Work Risk Inventory (WRI), developed for this study, which included generic workplace scenarios, it was also explored whether employees experiencing burnout take more risky decisions. Risk was conceptualised as the adoption of threatening decisions towards one’s reputation at work, job performance and job security. The mediating effect of the likelihood and seriousness of the consequences of the worst-case scenario occurring (i.e. what could be the worst that could happen in each given scenario), on the relationship between dimensions of burnout and risk was also tested. A total of 262 employees completed an online survey, including measures on burnout, decision making styles and the WRI. As predicted, dimensions of burnout: Exhaustion; Cynicism and Professional Inefficacy, correlated significantly with avoidant decision making and negatively with rational decision making. Seriousness of the consequences of the worst-case scenario occurring mediated the relationship between professional inefficacy and risk taking. In the context of identifying mechanisms by which burnout leads to risky decision making, findings suggest that employees’ sense of professional inefficacy determines employees’ risky decision making. The contribution to theory and implications for practice are discussed.

  • Cropley M, Banks AP, Boyle J. (2015) 'The Effects of Rhodiola rosea L. Extract on Anxiety, Stress, Cognition and Other Mood Symptoms'. WILEY-BLACKWELL PHYTOTHERAPY RESEARCH, 29 (12), pp. 1934-1939.
  • Ramiah SP, Banks AP. (2015) 'Naturalistic decision making through argumentation: Resolving labour disputes'. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 88 (2), pp. 364-381.
  • McGrath ML, Millward LJ, Banks AP. (2015) 'Workplace emotion through a psychological contract lens'. Emeraldinsight Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management, 10 (3), pp. 206-226.
  • Barlow A, Banks AP. (2014) 'Using emotional intelligence in coaching high-performance athletes: a randomised controlled trial'. Coaching, 7 (2), pp. 132-139.
  • Banks AP, Hope C. (2014) 'Heuristic and analytic processes in reasoning: An event-related potential study of belief bias'. Psychophysiology, 51 (3), pp. 290-297.

    Abstract

    Human reasoning involves both heuristic and analytic processes. This study of belief bias in relational reasoning investigated whether the two processes occur serially or in parallel. Participants evaluated the validity of problems in which the conclusions were either logically valid or invalid and either believable or unbelievable. Problems in which the conclusions presented a conflict between the logically valid response and the believable response elicited a more positive P3 than problems in which there was no conflict. This shows that P3 is influenced by the interaction of belief and logic rather than either of these factors on its own. These findings indicate that belief and logic influence reasoning at the same time, supporting models in which belief-based and logical evaluations occur in parallel but not theories in which belief-based heuristic evaluations precede logical analysis. © 2013 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  • Banks AP, Dhami MK. (2014) 'Normative and descriptive models of military decisions to deploy precision strike capabilities'. Military Psychology, 26 (1), pp. 33-43.
  • Banks AP. (2013) 'The Influence of Activation Level on Belief Bias in Relational Reasoning'. Cognitive Science, 37 (3), pp. 544-577.

    Abstract

    A novel explanation of belief bias in relational reasoning is presented based on the role of working memory and retrieval in deductive reasoning, and the influence of prior knowledge on this process. It is proposed that belief bias is caused by the believability of a conclusion in working memory which influences its activation level, determining its likelihood of retrieval and therefore its effect on the reasoning process. This theory explores two main influences of belief on the activation levels of these conclusions. First, believable conclusions have higher activation levels and so are more likely to be recalled during the evaluation of reasoning problems than unbelievable conclusions, and therefore, they have a greater influence on the reasoning process. Secondly, prior beliefs about the conclusion have a base level of activation and may be retrieved when logically irrelevant, influencing the evaluation of the problem. The theory of activation and memory is derived from the Atomic Components of Thought-Rational (ACT-R) cognitive architecture and so this account is formalized in an ACT-R cognitive model. Two experiments were conducted to test predictions of this model. Experiment 1 tested strength of belief and Experiment 2 tested the impact of a concurrent working memory load. Both of these manipulations increased the main effect of belief overall and in particular raised belief-based responding in indeterminately invalid problems. These effects support the idea that the activation level of conclusions formed during reasoning influences belief bias. This theory adds to current explanations of belief bias by providing a detailed specification of the role of working memory and how it is influenced by prior knowledge. © 2012 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  • Sorensen LJ, Stanton NA, Banks AP. (2011) 'ERRATUM Back to SA school: contrasting three approaches to situation awareness in the cockpit.'. Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science, 12 (6), pp. 510-513.
  • Sorenson LJ, Stanton NA, Banks AP. (2011) 'Back to SA school: contrasting three approaches to situation awareness in the cockpit'. Taylor & Francis Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science, 12 (6), pp. 451-471.

    Abstract

    Situational awareness (SA) has received considerable attention in recent years and significant theoretical advances have been made. The advances to date can be categorised in three main schools of thought: psychological, engineering and systems ergonomics schools. We discuss the theoretical contributions of the three schools to the understanding of SA and apply these to the analysis of the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 series, as described by Hutchins (Hutchins, E., 1995a. How a cockpit remembers its speeds. Cognitive Science, 19, 265-288), descent and approach. We discuss how the different views advocated by the three schools give rise to different approaches to support SA. We argue that while the psychological and engineering approaches each give valuable insight into the phenomenon neither gives a complete explanation of SA. It is only the systems ergonomics perspective, in considering the individual, artefacts in the environment and interaction between these which offer a full explanation of the phenomenon.

  • Cropp N, Banks AP, Elghali L. (2011) 'Expert Decision Making in a Complex Engineering Environment: A Comparison of the Lens Model, Explanatory Coherence, and Matching Heuristics'. SAGE Publications Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making, 5 (3), pp. 255-276.

    Abstract

    This study investigated the complex decisions made by engineers when conducting contaminated-land risk assessments. Experienced assessors studied summaries of site reports, which were composed of different combinations of relevant cues, and decided on the risk level of each site. Models from three theories of decision making were compared. Applying judgment analysis to develop a lens model provided the best account of the data, lending support to social judgment theory. A model based on a fast-and-frugal heuristic, the matching heuristic, did not fit the data as well; nor did a coherence model based on the theory of explanatory coherence. Comparison with decisions generated with the use of industry guidance showed only a moderate fit, suggesting that the standard procedure does not accurately represent how highly proficient domain practitioners make assessments in this context. Qualitative analyses of comments made by participants suggested that they used a combined approach that applied key cues as predicted by social judgment theory, integrated into a meaningful, coherent account, as predicted by the theory of explanatory coherence. Overall, these findings suggest a novel process in which a range of information is combined to form a coherent explanation of the data but in which key cues are more influential than others.

  • Peebles D, Banks AP. (2010) 'Modelling dynamic decision making with the ACT-R cognitive architecture'. Versita for the Artificial General Intelligence Society (AGIS) Journal of Artificial General Intelligence, 2 (2), pp. 52-68.

    Abstract

    This paper describes a model of dynamic decision making in the Dynamic Stocks and Flows (DSF) task, developed using the ACT-R cognitive architecture. This task is a simple simulation of a water tank in which the water level must be kept constant whilst the inflow and outflow changes at varying rates. The basic functions of the model are based around three steps. Firstly, the model predicts the water level in the next cycle by adding the current water level to the predicted net inflow of water. Secondly, based on this projection, the net outflow of the water is adjusted to bring the water level back to the target. Thirdly, the predicted net inflow of water is adjusted to improve its accuracy in the future. If the prediction has overestimated net inflow then it is reduced, if it has underestimated net inflow it is increased. The model was entered into a model comparison competition—the Dynamic Stocks and Flows Challenge—to model human performance on four conditions of the DSF task and then subject the model to testing on five unseen transfer conditions. The model reproduced the main features of the development data reasonably well but did not reproduce human performance well under the transfer conditions. This suggests that the principles underlying human performance across the different conditions differ considerably despite their apparent similarity. Further lessons for the future development of our model and model comparison challenges are considered.

  • Millward LJ, Banks AP, Riga K. (2010) 'Effective self-regulating teams: a generative psychological approach'. Emerald Group Publishing Limited Team Performance Management: An International Journal, 16 (1/2), pp. 50-73.

    Abstract

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe and defend a generative model for understanding effective self-regulating teams from a distinctively psychological perspective that has implications for both research and practice. Design/methodology/approach – The paper complements Hackman's work on the critical conditions for effecting “self-regulated” teamwork with an understanding of team psychology, as the basis for evolving a propositional model of effective teamwork. Findings – Assuming various structural pre-requisites, it is proposed that effective teamwork is generated by a social self-identification process, upon which there are “emergent states” across affective (commitment, cohesion), motivational (drive to secure and maintain positive self-esteem), cognitive (shared cognition) and behavioural (intra-team and inter-team processes) dimensions. Research limitations/implications – Considerations for further testing, conceptual and methodological refinement, are highlighted. Practical implications – The model affords clear pragmatic implications for leveraging more effective teamwork in organizational contexts. Originality/value – The propositional model in the paper integrates and builds on previous thinking into a more generative understanding of effective team work (i.e. what makes teamwork possible and how can this be sustained) that takes into account the importance of context in accounting for team success.

  • Cropp N, Hellawell E, Elghali L, Banks A. (2010) 'Contaminated land risk assessment: Variability in site assessment and decision making in the UK'. Land Contamination and Reclamation, 18 (2), pp. 181-194.
  • McAndrew C, Gore J, Banks AP. (2009) '‘Convince Me’: modelling naturalistic decision making'. Human Factors and Ergonomics Society & SAGE Publications Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making, 3 (2), pp. 156-175.

    Abstract

    This paper is positioned in response to a call for an exchange of dialogue between researchers in the fields of macrocognition and computational modeling. Our work encourages examination of the complementarities that exist between these fields proposing that some of the challenges associated with micromodeling perspectives may be addressed by drawing upon "midgranularity" cognitive architectures. The study documented here demonstrates the value of modeling macrocognitive phenomena using the midgranularity architecture Convince Me. Our results suggested a moderate degree of fit between fund managers' decision making and the theory of explanatory coherence. Insights into the macrocognitive processes of sense making, uncertainty management, and mental simulation are examined. We anticipate that this will demonstrate the utility of computational modeling for revealing the shortcomings of macrocognitive models and that this will not only motivate increased theoretical specification but will also assist in the legitimization of cognitive modeling methods within macrocognitive inquiry.

  • Banks AP, Millward LJ. (2009) 'Distributed Mental Models: Mental Models in Distributed Cognitive Systems'. The Institute of Mind and Behavior Inc. The Journal of Mind and Behavior, 30 (4), pp. 249-266.

    Abstract

    The function of groups as information processors is increasingly being recognised in a number of theories of group cognition. A theme of many of these is an emphasis on sharing cognition. This paper extends current conceptualisations of groups by critiquing the focus on shared cognition and emphasising the distribution of cognition in groups. In particular, it develops an account of the distribution of one cognitive construct, mental models. Mental models have been chosen as a focus because they are used in a number of theories of high level cognition from different areas of research such as cognitive science and human factors and so the implication of this development is wide reaching. This paper reviews the unconnected literatures on distributed cognition and mental models and integrates them in order to extend the theory of mental models to distributed cognitive systems such as groups. The distributed cognition literature is reviewed and the importance of considering the group as single cognitive system is adopted. A range of mental model theories are reviewed leading to the conclusion that they all have, in some form, the central feature of a mapping onto the cognitive system. Combining these two ideas, it is proposed that the model can be a mapping onto the whole group, if the information is distributed appropriately and the connections between parts of the model maintained through communication. This cognitive construct is referred to as a distributed mental model. Implications and applications of this theory are discussed and an example outlined of the use of the construct in team situation awareness.

  • Groeger JA, Banks AP, Simpson PJ. (2008) 'Serial memory for sound-specified locations: Effects of spatial uncertainty and motor suppression'. PSYCHOLOGY PRESS The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 61 (2), pp. 248-262.

    Abstract

    According to Parmentier and Jones (2000), serial recall of locations which are specified by a sequence of sounds is prone to temporal error and is unaffected by motor suppression during retention. Studies are reported here which show that with increased spatial uncertainty at recall (Study1) and presentation (Study 2), spatial rather than temporal errors predominate. This is also the case when serial recall of sound specified locations is subject to interference from a motor suppression task (Study 3). Contrary to Parmentier and Jones‟s (2000) original report, these results suggest that the memory representation for location is not necessarily amodal but is influenced by the task. This is consistent with recent findings which provide evidence for a distinct spatial working memory.

  • Groeger JA, Banks AP. (2007) 'Anticipating the content and circumstances of skill transfer: Unrealistic expectations of driver training and graduated licensing?'. Ergonomics, 50 (8), pp. 1250-1263.

    Abstract

    There is substantial evidence that driving skills improve during driver training, but the long-term safety benefit of such formal training remains unproven. Restricting the exposure of newly licensed drivers to more hazardous driving circumstances, as in graduated driver licensing (GDL) regimes, demonstrably reduces crash risk, but drivers remain at risk after the restrictions are eased. GDL and most other licensing regimes advocate increased basic training and practice, but thereafter require neither advanced training nor systematic increase in exposure to risk. This assumes that basic skills acquired during formal training will transfer positively to new and more demanding traffic circumstances. This paper reviews the theoretical basis for these assumptions and offers a way of systematically identifying the extent of transfer desired. It is concluded that there is little theoretical or empirical foundation for the supposition that what is learned during or after training will have a safety benefit in later driving.

  • Banks AP, Millward LJ. (2007) 'Differentiating knowledge in teams: The effect of shared declarative and procedural knowledge on team performance'. EDUCATIONAL PUBLISHING FOUNDATION GROUP DYNAMICS-THEORY RESEARCH AND PRACTICE, 11 (2), pp. 95-106.
  • Russell E, Purvis LM, Banks A. (2007) 'Describing the strategies used for dealing with email interruptions according to different situational parameters'. Computers in Human Behavior, 23 (4), pp. 1820-1837.
  • Gore J, Banks A, Millward L, Kyriakidou O. (2006) 'Naturalistic decision making and organizations: Reviewing pragmatic science'. SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD ORGANIZATION STUDIES, 27 (7), pp. 925-942.
  • Banks AP, McKeran WJ. (2005) 'Team situation awareness, shared displays and performance'. International Journal of Cognitive Technology, 10, pp. 23-28.
  • Banks AP, Millward LJ. (2000) 'Running shared mental models as a distributed cognitive process'. WILEY-BLACKWELL BRITISH JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY, 91, pp. 513-531.

Conference papers

  • Banks AP, McKeran WJ. (2006) 'The influence of sharing displays on team situation awareness and performance'. Taylor and Francis Psychology: Contemporary Ergonomics
  • Banks AP. (2004) 'Group reasoning about complex causal systems'. Leuven : Psychology: International Conference on Thinking
  • Banks AP, McKeran W, Millward LJ. (2003) 'Should task information be shared or distributed in a team?'. Aberdeen : Psychology: The Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition Biennial conference
  • Banks AP, Macklin C, Millward LJ. (2002) 'Distribution of causal reasoning in groups'. Canterbury : Psychology: British Psychological Society Cognitive Section Annual Conference
  • Banks AP, Millward LJ. (2001) 'Shared or distributed mental models? The effect of task difficulty on distributing cognition'. Edinburgh. : Psychology: British Psychological Society Cognitive Section Annual Conference

Book chapters

  • McAndrew C, Banks A, Gore J. (2012) 'Bridging macrocognitive/microcognitive methods: ACT-R under review'. in (ed.) Naturalistic Decision Making and Macrocognition , pp. 277-300.
  • McDowall A, Millward LJ, Banks A. (2011) 'Occupational Psychology in Practice - The Organisation'. in Davey G (ed.) Applied Psychology Chichester, Uk : Wiley-Blackwell Article number 23 , pp. 465-484.
  • McDowall A, Banks A, Millward LJ. (2011) 'Occupational Psychology in Practice - the Individual'. in Davey G (ed.) Applied Psychology Wiley-Blackwell Article number 22 , pp. 447-464.
  • McDowall A, Millward LJ, Banks A. (2011) 'Professional Issues in Occupational Psychology'. in (ed.) Applied Psychology Wiley-Blackwell Article number 26 , pp. 515-526.
  • Banks A, McDowall A, Millward Purvis LJ. (2011) 'FIVE chapters on Occupational Psychology'. in Davey G (ed.) Introduction to Applied Psychology
  • McAndrew C, Banks AP, Gore J. (2009) 'Bridging microcognitive and macrocognitive methods: ACT-R'. in Schraagen JM, Militello L, Ormerod T, Lipshitz R (eds.) Naturalistic decision making and macrocognition
  • McAndrew C, Banks A, Gore J. (2008) 'Bridging macro cognitive/micro cognitive methods: ACT-R under review'. in Schraagen JM, Militello L, Omerod T, Lipshitz R (eds.) Naturalistic Decision Making and Macro Cognition Ashgate , pp. 277-301.
  • Banks AP. (2005) 'Markov, Andrei Andreevich'. in Everitt B, Howell D (eds.) Encyclopedia of Statistics in Behavioral Science London : Wiley

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