Michel Regenwetter


Research Interests

  • Decision Making
  • Mathematical Psychology
  • Behavioral Social Choice
  • Behavioral Economics

Research Description

Individual preferences fluctuate over time and differ among people. Few models of utility and decision making attempt to capture this fundamental fact explicitly. Prof. Regenwetter's primary goal is to model, measure, and predict preference and choice behavior when it is allowed to vary. Random utility models are designed as a modeling language to capture and quantify the ubiquitous variability in choice and preference behavior. Prof. Regenwetter's primary interests can be categorized as falling within three paradigms: probabilistic measurement, social choice, and preference evolution over time. Probabilistic measurement theory reformulates axiomatic measurement structures (e.g., in decision theory) in a probabilistic framework and thereby makes them empirically (and statistically) testable. Social choice theory is the theory of aggregating individual preferences or choices into a social ordering or choice. Dr. Regenwetter's interest in social choice is behavioral. Using random utility models as measurement tools, he evaluates and compares competing social choice functions on empirical data of various kinds. Dr. Regenwetter studies preference change over time via stochastic process models in which random utilities are indexed by continuous time.


Ph.D. Mathematical Behavioral Sciences, University of California at Irvine

Awards and Honors

  • 1999 Young Investigator Award, Society for Mathematical Psychology
  • 2006 Fellow, Association for Psychological Science
  • 2012 International Exeter Prize for Research in Experimental Economics, Decision Theory and Behavioral Economics, for Regenwetter, M., Dana, J. & Davis-Stober, C. (2011). “Transitivity of preferences.” Psychological Review, 118, 42-56.

Courses Taught

Models of Decision and Choice
Testing Theories of Decision
Foundations of Behavioral Social Choice Research
Introduction to Statistics
Psychological Statistics

Additional Campus Affiliations

Professor, Political Science

Recent Publications

Davis-Stober, C. P., & Regenwetter, M. (2019). The 'Paradox' of Converging Evidence. Psychological review. https://doi.org/10.1037/rev0000156

Regenwetter, M., & Robinson, M. M. (2019). The construct-behavior gap revisited: Reply to Hertwig and Pleskac (2018). Psychological review, 126(3), 451-454. https://doi.org/10.1037/rev0000145

Regenwetter, M., Hsu, Y. F., & Kuklinski, J. H. (2019). Towards Meaningful Inferences From Attitudinal Thermometer Ratings. Decision. https://doi.org/10.1037/dec0000106

Regenwetter, M., & Cavagnaro, D. R. (2019). Tutorial on removing the shackles of regression analysis: How to stay true to your theory of binary response probabilities. Psychological Methods, 24(2), 135-152. https://doi.org/10.1037/met0000196

Zwilling, C. E., Cavagnaro, D. R., Regenwetter, M., Lim, S. H., Fields, B., & Zhang, Y. (2019). QTEST 2.1: Quantitative testing of theories of binary choice using Bayesian inference. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 91, 176-194. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmp.2019.05.002

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