Risk and Decision Making Lab

Louisiana State University


The RANDM Lab is primarily focused on applying judgment and decision-making principles to the study of workplace behaviors. Along those lines, we conduct research in the areas of job interview, individual differences risk taking, and the communication of research evidence to lay consumers. Below are some main topics of research.

Risk Taking

I am interested in the nature of risk-taking as a personality disposition. Although risky behaviors vary across domains, my previous research has uncovered domain generalities. That is to say, some people are risk-seeking or risk-avoidant across situations and contexts. My research aims to uncover the nature of risk-taking as a general personality disposition, and its ability to predict real world outcomes such as life satisfaction, academic performance, and counterproductive work behaviors.

  • Highhouse, S., Nye, C. D., Zhang, D. C., & Rada, T. B. (2017). Structure of the Dospert: Is There Evidence for a General Risk Factor? Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 30(2), 400–406. https://doi.org/10.1002/bdm.1953.

  • Zhang, D.C., Highhouse, S., & Nye. (in press), Development and validation of the general risk propensity scale (GRiPS). Journal of Behavioral Decision Making.

  • Highhouse, S., Wang, Y., & Zhang, D. C. (2022). Is risk propensity unique from the big five factors of personality? A meta-analytic investigation. Journal of Research in Personality, 98, 104206.

Employee Selection

I am interested in issues related to decision making during employee selection and recruitment. My research has examined issues related to motives and applicant reactions toward unorthodox interview questions. I am also interested why interviewers are overconfident in their ability to size up job applicants. Finally, I'm interested in how to improve hiring decisions through effective communication of validity evidence.

  • Zhang, D.C. (2018), Understandability of alternative effect size statistics and development of a webbased calculator: Shiny-AESC. Frontiers in Psychology. 9, 1221

  • Zhang, D.C., Highhouse, S., Brooks, M.E. & Zhang, Y. (2018), Communicating the validity of structured interviews with graphical visual aids. International Journal of Selection and Assessment. 26(2-4), 93-108

  • Zhang, D. C. (2022). Horse-sized ducks or duck-sized horses? Oddball Personality Questions are likable (but useless) for organizational recruitment. Journal of Business and Psychology, 37(1), 215-233.

Judgment and Decision Making

I'm broadly interested in the application of judgment and decision-making to workplace issues such as selection, recruitment, performance appraisal, and others. I'm also interested in basic individual differences related to judgment. My research, for example, has examined gender differences in cognitive reflection as well as subject matter expertise in work place judgments.

  • Zhang, D. C., & Wang, Y. (2021). An empirical approach to identifying subject matter experts for the development of situational judgment tests. Journal of Personnel Psychology.

  • Zhang, D. C., Highhouse, S., & Rada, T. B. (2016). Explaining sex differences on the Cognitive Reflection Test. Personality and Individual Differences, 101, 425-427.

  • Zhang, D. C., & Highhouse, S. (2018). Judgment and decision making in the workplace.