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Associate Professor Jason Tangen
  – Associate Professor

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Associate Professor Jason Tangen
Jason is a teaching and research academic in the School and explores the nature of expertise and the development of competence in professional practice. He has lead several large research programs in collaboration with police agencies, passports, and the reserve bank. In 2013, Jason developed UQ's first Massive Open Online Course called "The Science of Everyday Thinking," which attracted more than 93,000 enrolments.
+61 7 3365 4466
Postal Address:

School of Psychology
The University of Queensland
St Lucia, QLD 4072

Picture of 'Associate Professor Jason Tangen'
Associate Professor Jason Tangen

PhD (McMaster), BASc (Lethbridge)


Jason Tangen's research is broadly based on Expertise & Evidence. That is, the perceptual and cognitive changes that occur as we accumulate experiences. Jason has several projects underway on awareness, forensic reasoning, the perception of banknote features, and the flashed face distortion effect. Originally trained in philosophy and cognition, he did a PhD on causal learning at McMaster University in Canada and a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of New South Wales. He regularly teaches courses on Critical Thinking, Judgement & Decision Making, and Consciousness & Cognition.

Picture of 'Associate Professor Jason Tangen'
Associate Professor Jason Tangen
Expertise, judgement, decision making, fingerprints, identification, learning, thinking, memory, bias, methodology.
Decisions, Fingerprints, Personal decisions, Awareness - psychology, Forensic professionals - decision making, Decision making - forensic professionals, Intelligence agencies - decision making, Human identification, Research methodology, Forensic reasoning
Course Coordinator:
  • Semester 1, 2015
    PSYC2371 - Everyday Thinking
  • Semester 1, 2014
    PSYC2371 - Everyday Thinking
  • Semester 1, 2013
    PSYC2371 - Everyday Thinking
  • Semester 1, 2012
    PSYC2371 - Everyday Thinking
  • Semester 2, 2012
    PSYC3052 - Judgment & Decision-Making
  • Semester 2, 2011
    PSYC3052 - Judgment & Decision-Making
  • Semester 2, 2010
    PSYC3052 - Judgment & Decision-Making
  • Semester 1, 2009
    PSYC4050 - Psychological Research Methodology IV
  • Semester 2, 2009
    PSYC3052 - Judgment & Decision-Making

Note: Coordinator roles prior to 2009 and tutor roles prior to 2006 are not included.

Research Area:
Judgement and Decision Making

We have some very exciting things happening in the lab in 2015, and I'll be taking five outstanding students with a passion for research.

Our work is broadly based on the perceptual and cognitive changes that occur as we accumulate experiences. How do humans and non-humans develop a sensitivity to visual structure in the world? For example, we've demonstrated previously that honeybees can distinguish between paintings by Picasso and Monet. Other species including chimpanzees, mice, pigeons, and fish have all been shown to be sensitive to style in art, music, and even handwriting. A common response to findings like these is that animals are far more like humans than previously realised, rather than the obvious alternative that the psychological processes that subserve these abilities are simpler than previously assumed.

The honours students in my lab will examine these psychological processes from different perspectives. Some questions are more "pure" (e.g., what's the best way to learn the visual structure of a brand new category?), while others are more "applied" (e.g., how should forensic examiners testify in court?). We also work across many different domains: radiology, rationality, fingerprint identification, face recognition, illusions, insight, and teaching and learning in higher education. Have a look at our lab website for more information.

Deciding what to do for honours is an incredibly difficult decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you have any questions about the projects in our lab, life as an honours student, balancing course work and your thesis, expectations, workload, etc., please don't hesitate to contact any of my PhD students (Rachel, Ruben, Gianni), my postdoc (Matt), or lab manager (Wen). They've all been through honours at UQ and managed to do exceptionally well. I would also be happy to answer any questions that you have, so feel free to contact me directly.

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