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About City

Shrooq Alzahrani

PhD student

Department of Psychology

Memory & Cognition Research GroupLink

E: Shrooq.Alzahrani.1@city.ac.uk

Thesis title: Cognitive processing and decision making under uncertainty

Supervisor: Dr Petko Kusev

Overview and research interests

Shrooq's research is based on moral dilemmas in uncertain situations. The experiments are based on hypothetical scenarios of moral dilemmas (e.g. the trolley and footbridge dilemmas; Thomson, 1985) in which participants judge the appropriateness of certain actions. By manipulating the stimuli (presentation) of the trolley and footbridge dilemma, as well as the questions and the presentation of utility, it is possible to assess the reason for the variation in participant responses in both dilemmas.

Previous research has shown that personal moral dilemmas (such as the footbridge) are more emotionally salient compared with impersonal moral dilemmas (such as the trolley), which is the reason behind the variation in participants' response between these two tasks, and the differences in the time they spend to make a decision (Greene et al., 2001).

The goal of Shrooq's research is to demonstrate that the differences are not only the result of emotional engagement but are also caused by cognitive processing and the interaction between emotion and reasoning with uncertainty. The research findings will help develop further theories about moral dilemmas and cognitive processes involved in the uncertainty over and the understanding of human actions.

Research interests

  • Decision Making
  • Uncertainty
  • Moral Dilemma

Shrooq has an MSc Cognitive psychology/Neuropsychology from the University of Kent, Canterbury (2010) and a BSc Psychology from King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah/Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (2006).