Steven Sherman

Steven Sherman

Chancellor's Professor Emeritus, Psychological and Brain Sciences


  • Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1967

Research interests

Information seeking and hypothesis testing strategies. How do people develop hypotheses, choose questions to test these hypotheses, evaluate answers to these questions, and draw inferences and make judgments? Biases and errors in the processes are focused on. Both cognitive and motivational factors are considered.

Illusory correlation--how and when people learn mistaken associations between factors, especially as it plays a role in acquiring beliefs about the associations of traits with individuals or groups. Processes of illusory correlation are considered, and on-line vs. Recall-based judgment is an important aspect of this work.

A Feature matching model (related to Tversky\'s contrast model for similarity) is applied to detection of change, preferences, approach-avoidance conflict, post-decision regret, social comparison, and categorization.

Professional Experience

  • Editor, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1984-90
  • Chair, NIH Behavioral Medicine Study Section, 1984-88
  • NIMH Small Group Processes Study Section, 1996-2000

Representative publications

What's Next? Disentangling availability from representativeness using binary decision tasks (2018)
Braga João, Ferreira Mário, Sherman Steven, Mata André, Jacinto Sofia, Ferreira Marina
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 76 307-319

Cigarette smoking from adolescence to adulthood (2018)
Laurie Chassin, Clark C. Presson, Jonathan T. Macy, Steven J. Sherman
Alcohol Use Disorders: A Developmental Science Approach to Etiology, 237-248

On the Cognitive Determinants of Out-Group Dehumanization: Illusory Correlation and the Dehumanization of (Numerical) Group Minorities (2017)
Martina Prazienkova, Maria Paola Paladino, Steven J. Sherman
Social Cognition, 35 (6), 639-662

Motivated reasoning in the prediction of sports outcomes and the belief in the "hot hand" (2016)
João P. N. Braga, André Mata, Mário B. Ferreira, Steven J. Sherman
Cognition and Emotion, 31 (8), 1-10

Analytic and heuristic processes in the detection and resolution of conflict (2016)
Mário B. Ferreira, André Mata, Christopher Donkin, Steven J. Sherman, Max Ihmels
Memory & Cognition , 44 (7), 1050–1063

The effects of construal level on heuristic reasoning: The case of representativeness and availability (2015)
Braga João N.,Ferreira Mário B.,Sherman Steven J.
Decision 2325-9965, 2 (), 216-227

Strategic Numeracy: Self-Serving Reasoning About Health Statistics (2015)
André Mata, Steven J. Sherman, Mário B. Ferreira, Cristina Mendonça
Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 37 (3), 165-173

Don't Rush to Flush (2015)
Michelle L.Lute, Shahzeen Z.Attari, Steven J.Sherman
Journal of Environmental Psychology, 43 105-111

Flexibility in Motivated Reasoning: Strategic Shifts of Reasoning Modes in Covariation Judgment (2013)
Mata André, Ferreira Mário, Sherman Steven
Social Cognition, 31 (4), 465-481

The Metacognitive Advantage of Deliberative Thinkers: A Dual-Process Perspective on Overconfidence (2013)
Mata André, Ferreira Mário, Sherman Steven
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 105 (3), 353–373

Dissertation Committee Service

Author Dissertation Title Committee
Johnson, J. G. A Computational Modeling Account of Robust Preference Reversal Phenomena (December 2004) Busemeyer, J. (Co-Chair), Townsend, J. (Co-Chair), Sherman, S. J., Winston, W. L.