Sumitava Mukherjee

Sumitava Mukherjee
Assistant Professor
Psychology
CV Summary: 

I study cognitive processes in judgment and decision making using experimental approaches.  My overall philosophy is rooted in ideas of adaptive rationality that is geared to find simple cognitive mechanisms which explain what humans do (and other non-human or machine agents can do) without resorting to complex explanations as much as possible. One such mechanism on which I have worked on is attention (which can be perceptual, conceptual or be seen as a resource) that underlie a large number of judgments, decisions and actions we undertake. Consultation queries from corporate contacts in my area of work are welcome to see if we can collaborate.

Contact Information

Office: MS 615A, main building

☎   +91 8905430004
✉    sm1@hss.iitd.ac.in OR sumitava.inbox@gmail.com

Postal mail:
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences,
IIT Delhi, Hauz Khaz, New Delhi - 110016

Research Areas

Broad area: Judgment and Decision making

In previous works, we have  studied prosocial choices and multi-attribute choices and have suggested simple attentional processes to underlie such decisions. Then, I started to place it in the prospect theoretic framework and have been studying how people affectively value gains versus losses, hoping to provide a simple attention based explanation for the same. Having studied how people judge and decide, more recently, I am interested in how we learn to do this well. The programme is named Cognitive Capabilities and Decision Making.

Current Programme: Cognitive Capabilities and Decision Making

Naturalistic Cognitive Capabilities: Novices to experts for naturalistic decision making tasks
This thread attempts to find  information processing strategies people use in naturalistic environments towards becoming experts in judgment and decision making, which might help advance technology-based support as enablers for skill development programmes for the nation. Specifically, I want to understand what information, attentional mechanisms, individual differences and cognitive processing strategies enable people to perform or learn to perform better towards becoming experts in judgments and decision making in real-life scenarios. 

Measuring Cognitive Capabilities through classical tasks in daily context
This thread is in how classical lab based tasks pan out when measured in natural environments through different technological interfaces to gauge the possibility of harnessing modern technological backbones to gather large scale data about cognitive capabilities amd emotions of citizens. 

Academic Background

Ph.D. Cognitive Science Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (2014)

M.Sc. Cognitive Science Centre for Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences, University of Allahabad (2010)

B.E. Computer Engineering University of Pune (2007)

Publications

Money

Loss aversion

Mukherjee, S., Sahay, A., Pammi, C.V.S., & Srinivasan, N. (2017). Is Loss-aversion magnitude dependent? Measuring prospective affective judgments regarding gains and losses. Judgment and Decision Making, 12(1), 81-89. 

 

Influence of price changes on affective valuation (supported by DST-PostDoc fellowship)

Mukherjee, S., & Sahay, A. (2018). Nocebo effects from negative product information: when information hurts, paying money could heal, Journal of Consumer Marketing, 35(1), 32-39.

Sahay, A., Mukherjee, S. & Dewani, P. P. (2015). Price discount framings on product bundles with shipping surcharges in the Indian market: Examining the weighted-additive and reference-dependent models. Journal of Indian Business Research, 7(1), 4-20.

 

Attentional effects on prosocial donation decisions (supported by PhD fellowship)

Mukherjee, S., Srinivasan, N., Kumar, N., & Manjaly, J. A. (in press). Perceptual broadening leads to more prosociality. Frontiers in Psychology.

Bouwmeester, S., Verkoeijen, P. P. J. L., Aczel, B., …, Mukherjee, S., …, & Wollbrant, C. E. (2017). Registered Replication Report: Rand, Greene & Nowak (2012). Perspectives on Psychological Science, 12(3), 527-542.

Mukherjee, S., Srinivasan, N., & Manjaly, J.A. (2014). Global processing fosters donations toward charity appeals framed in an approach orientation. Cognitive Processing, 15(3), 391- 396.

 

Effect of money

Mukherjee, S., Manjaly, J.A., & Kumar, N. (2015). Role of money in creative cognition. In In J. A Manjaly & B. Indurkhya (Eds.) Cognition, Experience & Creativity. New Delhi: Orient Blackswan.

Mukherjee, S., Nargundkar, M., & Manjaly, J.A. (2014). Monetary primes increases differences in predicted life satisfaction between students at new and old Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). Psychological studies, 59(2), 191-196.

Mukherjee, S., Manjaly. J.A ., & Nargundkar, M. (2013). Money makes you reveal more: Consequences of monetary cues on preferential disclosure of personal information. Frontiers in Psychology 4:839. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00839 


MULTI-ATTRIBUTE choices

Attention in Unconscious Thought about multiple choices (Supported by MSc merit scholarship)

Srinivasan, N. & Mukherjee, S. (2014). Even ‘unconscious thought’ is influenced by attentional mechanisms. Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37(1), 40-41. (Commentary).

Srinivasan, N., Mukherjee, S., Mishra, M. V., & Kesarwani, S. (2013). Evaluating the role of attention in the context of unconscious thought theory: Differential impact of attentional scope and load on preference and memory. Frontiers in Psychology 4:37. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00037

Mukherjee, S. & Srinivasan, N. (2013). Attention in preferential choice. In Pammi, V. S. C., & Srinivasan, N (Eds.) (2013). Decision Making: Neural and Behavioral Approaches, Progress in Brain Research, Vol. 202 (pp 117-134). Amsterdam: Elsevier. [discusses a sub-sampling heuristic]

Srinivasan, N. & Mukherjee, S. (2010). Attribute preference and selection in multi-attribute decision making: Implications for unconscious and conscious thought. Consciousness and Cognition, 19(2), 644 – 652.

 

other miscellaneous

Mehta, V., Mukherjee, S., & Manjaly, J.A. (2017). Can lighting influence self-disclosure? Frontiers in Psychology 8:234. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00234 *

Tybur, J.M., Inbar, Y., Aarøe, L., … Mukherjee, S., …Žeželjll, I. (2016).Parasite Stress and Pathogen Avoidance Relate to Distinct Dimensions of Political Ideology Across 30 Nations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(44), 12408-12413.

 

Perspectives

Mukherjee, S. (2016). Isn’t it yet time for Indian government to have a behavioral science unit? Psychological Studies, 61(2), 91-95.

Mukherjee, S., & Sahay, A. (2016). Predicted satisfaction from simultaneous evaluation of prosocial and pro-self employee bonus schemes: Towards a new form of management strategy for corporate social spending. Psychological Studies, 61(1), 48-54.

Mukherjee, S. (2013). Concerns with attempts by neuroeconomics to answer the philosophical question “Is it rational to donate money for charity?”. Frontiers in psychology, 4, 585. (Commentary).

Manjaly, J.A., & Mukherjee, S.* (2009). Cognitive evolutionary psychology: a prospective but temperate view. Sandhan, 9(2), 183-197. [Published in 2012, * = equal authorship]

Conferences

Presented

Mukherje, S., & Sloman, S. (2017 December). "Illusions of understanding influence reactions to daily social developments". In 27th Annual convention of National Academy of Psychology (NAOP) at IIT Kharagpur, India.

Mukherjee, S.*, & Srinivasan, N. (2017 May). “Preference Reversals of Comparative Affective Judgments in the Prospect Theoretic Value Function”. In 29th Annual convention of Association for Psychological Science at Boston, MA, USA. [Poster]

Mukherjee, S.* (2016 December). “Back to Donald Norman’s twelve issues in cognitive science”. In 26th Annual convention of National Academy of Psychology (NAOP) at IIT Madras, India.

Mukherjee, S. * & Sahay, A. (2016 February). “Customer reactions to prices in the face of negative information about products”. In invited symposium on decision making at the 25th Annual convention of National Academy of Psychology (NAOP) at CBCS, Allahabad University, India.

Mukherjee, S. * (2014, December). Motivational effects of priming money”. In invited talk and awardee of ‘Emerging Psychologist in India’ at 24th Annual convention of National Academy of Psychology (NAOP) at IIFM Bhopal, India.

Mukherjee, S.*, & Srinivasan, N. (2013, March). “Issues with the definition of ‘unconscious thought’ in Unconscious Thought Theory”. In 20th conference on Toward a Science of Consciousness of Arizona Center for Consciousness Studies at Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Agra, India.

Mukherjee, S.*, Kumar, N., & Manjaly, J. A. (2013, Jan). “Consequence of priming money on insight problem solving”. In 100th Indian Science Congress at Calcutta University, Kolkata, India. [Poster]

Mukherjee, S.*, Srinivasan, N., Manjaly, J., & Kumar, N. (2012, November). “Effect of attentional scope and load on monetary donations”. In Annual conference of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making (SJDM) at Minneapolis Convention Center & Hilton Minneapolis, Minneapolis, MN, USA. [Poster]

Mukherjee, S.*, Kumar, N., & Manjaly, J. A. (2012, December). “For your eyes only: Simply priming money facilitates insight problem solving”. In XXII Annual convention of National Academy of Psychology India (NAOP) at Christ University, Bangalore, India.

Mukherjee, S.*, Nargundkar, M., & Manjaly, J. A. (2012, September). “The effects of priming money on predictions of life-satisfaction at IITs: Preliminary findings”. In National Conference on Positive Behaviour: Perspectives and Applications (NCPBPA-2012) at Department of Applied Psychology, Pondicherry University.

Mukherjee, S.*, & Srinivasan, N. (2009, December). How much information do we need to make complex decisions? In 19th Annual Conference of National Academy of Psychology (NAOP) India at India Habitat Center, New Delhi. [Poster]

Mukherjee, S.*, & Goswami, B. (2007, January). “Action Oriented Emotional Module (AOEM): A cognitive Architecture for shallow emotional modeling” In International Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics (ICSCI 2007) organized by Pentagram Research center, India.

Mukherjee, S.* (2005, December). “Evolving learning societies of robots using Context Free Grammar”. In International conference on Cognitive Systems at Hamdard Convention Centre, New Delhi organized by Centre for research in Cognitive Systems, NIIT Institute of technology.

Mukherjee, S.* (2005, October). “Implicit goal oriented cognition”. BRAIN IT-2005, Kyushu Institute of technology, Kitakyushu, Japan.

Mukherjee, S.*, & Patil, R. P. (2005, January). “Adaptive Enhanced Neural Perceptor”. In International Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics (ICSCI 2005) organized by Pentagram Research center, India. 06-09 Jan, 2005.

Mukherjee, S.*, & Ghadage, G. (2004). “Artificial intelligence and expert systems”. In National Level technical symposium, Bannari Amman Institute of Technology, Tamil Nadu, India, 2004.

Mukherjee, S. “Nanotechnology” (2003). In National Level Technical Colloquium at Government College of Engineering, Karad, Maharashtra.

Co-authored (presenter is marked with *)

Mukherjee, S., Srinivasan, N., Manjaly, J. A., & Shah, M.* (2013, December). “ Perceptual processing styles influence altruistic behavior in anonymous economic games”. In 23rd Annual convention of National Academy of Psychology India (NAOP) at NIT Rourkela, India.

Manjaly, J. A.*, & Mukherjee, S. (2013, March). “Critical analysis of Dretske’s tests for perception without awareness”. In 20th conference on Toward a Science of Consciousness of Arizona Center for Consciousness Studies at Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Agra, India. (Poster).

Kumar, N.*, Mukherjee, S., & Manjaly, J. A. (2013, March). “Money modulates attribution of agency”. In 20th conference on Toward a Science of Consciousness of Arizona Center for Consciousness Studies at Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Agra, India. (Poster)

Mishra, M.*, Mukherjee, S., Srinivasan, N. (2012, December). “Effect of attentional scope and load on choice preferences and memory”. In 22nd Annual convention of National Academy of Psychology India (NAOP) at Christ University, Bangalore, India.

Nargundkar, M.*, Manjaly, J. A., Mukherjee, S. (2012, December). “Privacy preferences of Indian youth: Findings of a preliminary survey”. In 22nd Annual convention of National Academy of Psychology India (NAOP) at Christ University, Bangalore, India.

Srinivasan, N.*, & Mukherjee, S. (2011, December). “Scope of attention and preferential choice in the context of unconscious thought”. In International Conference on Decision Making at CBCS, Allahabad, India.

Mukherjee, S., Srinivasan, N.*, & Manjaly, J. (2011, December). “Role of Attentional Processes on Monetary Estimations”. In International Conference on Decision Making at CBCS, Allahabad, India. (Poster).

Mukherjee, S., Srinivasan, N., Manjaly, J., & Kumar, N.* (2011, December). “Effect of Money on estimations of Social Distance”. In 21st Annual Convention of National Academy of Psychology (NAOP), India at IRMA, Anand, Gujarat.

Projects

Ongoing

#1: Re-examining loss aversion (2017-2019)

The idea of loss aversion is that losses loom psychologically larger than gains. It has almost been like a tautology in whole of social sciences but emerging evidences show that it may not be so thus motivating more investigations about what exactly are the underlying cognitive processes and mechanistic computations for this important phenomena. We are finding that when people attend to a range of magnitudes, loss aversion is magnitude dependent in te monetary domain. Now, I am investigating the effect of attention with emphasis on the value function and characteristics of information processing involved in valuation of gains and losses to move towards a magnitude relative preference theory.

Investigator: Sumitava Mukherjee

Funding agency: None

 

#2: Affective valuation of gains and losses of time under uncertainty (2018-2019)

Time and money are arguably two daily resources that have significant influences on experiences, planning, design and well-being among others. For the few decades after the seminal work of Kahneman & Tversky, most studies in behavioral economics have been on prospects of money. There has hardly been a handful that has examined how people value time under uncertainty although it is common for us to do so in daily life. This study aims to fill that gap in our understanding and also arrive at a value function for time with links back to the previous works on money.in both monetary plus non-monetary domains across more than one goal, as is common in our real everyday lives.

Principal investigator: Prof. Narayanan Srinivasan,  Co-investigator: Dr. Sumitava Mukherjee

Funding agency: None


Previous projects

 

Influence of price changes on affective valuation (2014-2016)

Principal Investigator: Dr. Sumitava Mukherjee (Postdoctoral fellowship), Hosted at Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad under supervision of Prof. Arvind Sahay

Objectives: It was intended to measure how monetary changes (stemming from price variations) influence affective valuation, evaluation and predictive experience of customers. The studies were based on predictions from Prospect Theory and in the context of small price changes in normal daily shopping (study 1), when additional [negative] information about certain product categories already exist in the market (study 2), and when products are bundled with shipping costs to be sold online (study 3). 

Funding agency: Department of Science and Technology, Government of India (under cognitive science initiative)

 

 

Cognitivist exploration of privacy behavior and experience (2011-2014)

Principal investigator: Dr. Jaison A. Manjaly, Co-Investigator: Sumitava Mukherjee

Objectives: (1) To enumerate the meaning of privacy for Indians, (2) Conduct experiments to understand underlying mechanisms associated with privacy related behavior and experience

Funding agency: Department of Science and Technology, Government of India (Under cognitive science initiative)