Ellen Peters is an expert in decision making and the science of science communication. Her primary research interests include how people judge and decide, and how evidence-based communication can boost comprehension and improve decision-making in health, financial, and environmental contexts. She is especially interested in the basic building blocks of human judgment and decision making—such as emotions and number abilities—and their links to effective communication techniques. These processes are also central to the effects of adult aging in decision-making as well as to public policy issues, such as how to communicate about the health effects of smoking or the pros and cons of cancer screenings and treatments. She is also interested in methods to increase number ability, a.k.a. numeracy, in order to improve decision-making and health and financial outcomes.
As the Philip H. Knight Chair and Director of the Center for Science Communication Research at the University of Oregon, she explores how policy makers, physicians, and other experts can enhance public understanding of science and technology by advancing the science of science communication.
Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Association for Psychological Science, the American Psychological Association, and the Society for Experimental Social Psychology. Awarded a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Group Merit Award and the Jane Beattie Scientific Recognition Award.