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Professor, College of Human Ecology, Cornell University

Valerie Reyna Director of the Laboratory for Rational Decision Making, Professor of Human Development and Psychology at Cornell University, Director of the Human Neuroscience Institute, Co-Director of the Cornell University Magnetic Resonance Imaging Facility, and a Co-director of the Center for Behavioral Economics and Decision Research. Dr. Reyna holds a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from Rockefeller University. Her research encompasses human judgment and decision making, numeracy and quantitative reasoning, risk and uncertainty, medical decision making, social judgment, and false memory. She is a developer of fuzzy-trace theory, a model of the relation between mental representations and decision making that has been widely applied in law, medicine, and public health. Her recent work has focused on aging, neurocognitive impairment, and genetic risk factors (e.g., in Alzheimer’s disease); rationality and risky decision making, particularly risk taking in adolescence; and neuroimaging models of framing and decision making. She has extended fuzzy-trace theory to risk perception, numeracy, and dual processes in medical decision making by both physicians and patients. Dr. Reyna also teaches an undergraduate and a graduate seminar on Risk and Rational Decision Making. Dr. Reyna has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is also a Fellow of the Division of Experimental Psychology, the Division of Developmental Psychology, the Division of Educational Psychology, and the Division of Health Psychology of the American Psychological Association, and she is a Fellow of the American Psychological Society. Dr. Reyna has been a Visiting Professor at the Mayo Clinic, a permanent member of study sections of the National Institutes of Health, and a member on advisory panels for the National Science Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, and the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Reyna was appointed Senior Research Advisor in the United States Department of Education, where she oversaw research grant policies and programs, and has also held leadership positions in organizations dedicated to equal opportunity for minorities and women, and on national executive and advisory boards of Centers and grants with similar goals, such as the Arizona Hispanic Center of Excellence, National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, and Women in Cognitive Science (supported by a National Science Foundation ADVANCE leadership award). Dr. Reyna was appointed for a second term as associate editor of Psychological Science and as an editorial board member of both Psychonomic Bulletin and Review and Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, leading journals in experimental psychology, and associate editor of Developmental Review, the leading journal of literature review and theory in developmental psychology. Dr. Reyna has received many years of research support from private foundations and from U.S. government agencies, and currently serves as principal investigator of two National Institutes of Health grants.