Who are you, and what do you do?
I am Mandeep K. Dhami, PhD. I am Professor of Decision Psychology at Middlesex University, London, UK. My job is primarily research focused. My research focuses on human judgment, decision-making and choice; understanding and communicating uncertainty; and risk perception and risk taking. I have examined these issues primarily in the criminal justice domain looking at, for example, the strategies that offenders, police officers, forensic analysts and judges use to make decisions; how jurors understand criminal standards of proof; and youth perceptions of the risks of criminal activity.
What do you consider your most important research tool(s) on your computer?
I would say that the most important research tool on my computer is the word processor. I’m a qualified typist and so have always worked much faster when typing than when using a pen/pencil. This means I can work (i.e., writing papers/grants) as fast as the ideas come to my mind.
What do you consider your most important research tool(s) outside of your computer?
Outside of my computer, my most important research tool is my mind for sure. I’m fortunate that I think both broadly but also in detail – an ability that I was once told (and since have observed) not many people have. The fact that I have studied across two disciplines i.e., Psychology and Criminology, with a focus on decision science and the courts, means that I’ve been exposed to very different perspectives – both scientific and social policy as well as quantitative and qualitative methodologies. In addition, I’ve worked in the ‘real world’ i.e., in two English prisons and the Ministry of Defence. This means that I feel comfortable learning about new stuff and I constantly find myself drawing new connections between ideas across academic disciplines as well as across the scientific and practice/policy divide.
What is your favorite tip for getting writing done?
Writing is my most favourite part of the research process, and so I’ve never really understood why some people find it so difficult to do. I guess my best tip for getting writing done has changed over the years – but its about creating the ‘right’ environment for oneself. When I was younger I would write late at night often sitting on the floor and now I write in the morning sitting at a desk. BUT, regardless, I typically have BBC World Service playing in the background (sound muted), a cup of (Green) tea and an ample supply of biscuits (my favourite are called RichTea). This gives me the illusion that I’m just relaxing, when in fact I’m hard at work writing research papers.
Mandeep’s favorite paper:
Dhami, M. K. (2003). Psychological Models of Professional Decision Making.