Meyer-Chabris Lab Openings
About the Lab
The interdisciplinary Meyer lab (July 2017–) uses a range of methods — primarily experimental, but also other quantitative and qualitative methods — to study judgment and decision-making related to research and health care. Areas of interest include comparative effectiveness of different approaches to informed consent; information avoidance (especially in genetic/genomic and health-related contexts); attitudes to research and other learning activities — including experimentation, biobank research, research comparing standards of care, and "sensitive" secondary research; the effects of returning a variety of genetic and genomic information to patients and participants; attitudes towards and the effects of "nudges"; and many aspects of IRB quality, including risk-benefit analysis. The lab holds weekly joint lab meetings with Professor Christopher Chabris' lab, lab postdocs and RAs are typically jointly supervised by Professors Meyer and Chabris, and both labs collaborate on some projects. In particular, we collaborate on a large research program currently underway empirically investigating the "A/B illusion" (see also this New York Times op-ed). And we are about to begin a large joint research program investigating the effectiveness and acceptability of health "nudges" (see this LA Times op-ed).
Michelle N. Meyer, PhD JD (Principal Investigator)
Michelle is Assistant Professor and Associate Director, Research Ethics, in Geisinger Health System's Center for Translational Bioethics and Health Law Policy. In addition to directing the lab, she chairs Geisinger’s IRB Leadership Committee, directs its Research Ethics Advice and Consulting Service, and plays a leading role in advancing Geisinger as a learning health system. Previously, she was an Academic Fellow at the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School, a Greenwall Fellow in Bioethics and Health Policy at The Johns Hopkins and Georgetown Universities, and a Research Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. She earned a Ph.D. in religious studies, with a focus on practical ethics, from the University of Virginia and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Patrick Heck, PhD (Postdoctoral Fellow)
Patrick is a postdoctoral fellow at Geisinger Health System. He received his PhD from Brown University in 2016, where he later served as a Visiting Assistant Professor. His research interests include social judgment and decision-making, social cognition, self-enhancement and overconfidence, and accuracy and bias in human judgment. Patrick has published work on a variety of topics in psychology, including self-enhancement and overconfidence, reputation and strategic interaction, happiness and well-being, and the heuristic value of inferential statistics. At Geisinger, Patrick is pursuing research on overconfidence, strategic ignorance, and perceptions of experimentation and the scientific method.
Geoff Holtzman, PhD (Postdoctoral Fellow)
Stephen Anderson, BS (Research Assistant)
Stephen joined the Meyer lab from Kurt Gray's Mind Perception and Morality Lab at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where as Lab Manager he oversaw multiple grant-supported research projects, recruited and trained undergraduate research assistants, was responsible for all administrative duties, and published and presented scientific papers. Stephen graduated summa cum laude from Allegheny College with a B.S. in Psychology and Music. At Allegheny, Stephen won the Interdisciplinary Faculty Prize for best senior thesis on an interdisciplinary topic, the Glenn W. Thompson Award for significant contributions to the psychology department, and James Edward Meadowcraft Memorial Award for superior academic, musical, and professional qualities, and was both a Doane Scholar and a Distinguished Alden Scholar. Stephen is interested in social cognition, morality, empathy, mind perception, and decision-making.
- 4/9/18: Michelle published a chapter, Ethical Considerations When Companies Study—and Fail to Study—their Customers, in The Cambridge Handbook of Consumer Privacy
- 3/27/18: The lab's first paper—with Christopher Chabris (Geisinger) and Duncan Watts and William Cai (Microsoft Research)—empirically investigating the A/B illusion, "The A/B Illusion: Objecting to Experimentally Comparing Two Unobjectionable Policies" (manuscript in preparation), was one of 84 papers (out of 353 submitted) accepted to the biennial Behavioral Decision Research in Management Conference, to be held at Harvard Business School, June 8–9, 2018
- 3/27/18: Patrick's paper with Joachim Krueger (Brown), "Putting the P Value in its Place," was accepted by The American Statistician
- 3/26/18: Michelle was invited (with Christopher Chabris) to speak at a multidisciplinary workshop, "Trust and Ethics of Autonomous Vehicles," at the MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, MA, on May 31st–June 1st, 2018
- 2/23/18: Michelle's tutorial, "Practical Tips for Ethical Data Sharing," was published in the inaugural issue of the new APS journal, Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science (AMPPS)
- 1/3/18: Geoff will present his research with Michelle on "IRB Risk Aversion and Prospective Participant Welfare," and his own work on "Beyond Emotion versus Reason: Does Neuroscience Undermine a Classic Metaethical Distinction?," at the Eastern Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association in Savannah, GA
- 11/30/2017: Michelle appeared on Genome Magazine's The Genome Podcast
- 11/7/2017: Michelle was a panelist on "Ethics and Privacy in the Era of Big Data" at the Technology in Psychiatry Summit at Harvard Medical School
- 11/1/17: Michelle was quoted in Antonio Regalado, "Eugenics 2.0: We're at the Dawn of Choosing Embyros By Health, Height, and More," MIT Technology Review
- 10/27/2017: Michelle was profiled in Genome Magazine
- 10/26/2017: Michelle and Geisinger colleagues published Early cancer diagnoses through BRCA1/2 screening of unselected adult biobank participants in Genetics in Medicine, reporting early clinical experiences returning genomic research results to patients in a learning healthcare system
- 10/11/17: Patrick was quoted in Julie Beck, "People Who Boast About Their IQ Are Losers," The Atlantic
- 10/9/17–10/10/17: Michelle attended Working Group meeting of NIH-funded grant to explore the ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) of unregulated mobile health apps in San Diego
- 10/12/2017: Patrick joined Joachim Krueger (Brown) at the American Statistical Association to present their research on NHST's p-value
- 10/9/2017: Patrick presented to the Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) Network at the National Human Genome Research Institute about his research with Michelle on avoidance of genetic/genomic information
- 10/4/2017: Patrick presented research he's conducting with Michelle on avoidance of genetic/genomic information at the Moral Psychology Research Group meeting and conference at Penn State University
- 10/4/2017: Geoff presented his work on neuromoral diversity and universal moral values at the Moral Psychology Research Group meeting and conference at Penn State University
- 9/28/17: Michelle was quoted in Emily Mullin, "As Consumer DNA Testing Grows, Two States Resist," MIT Technology Review
- 9/27/17: GenomeWeb reports on Geisinger's collaboration with Clear Genetics, including development and testing (with the Meyer lab) of a chatbot to guide consent to participate in Geisinger's MyCode Community Health Initiative biobank study
- 9/18/17: Michelle was quoted in "What Would Happen If Everyone in the World Lost Their Sex Drive?," Gizmodo