Leuker, Christina

Associate Research Scientist

Main Focus

  • Decision making under risk and uncertainty: Risk-reward heuristic, mind-environment fit
  • Deliberate ignorance: Individual differences, cognitive models
  • Morals in markets: Repugnant transactions, individual and cultural differences
  • Methods: Behavioral experiments, eyetracking, computational modeling, (experimental) surveys
  • Other: Science writing and science communication

Curriculum Vitae

  • 2018: Dr. rer. nat. | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
  • 2014: M.Sc. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience | Freie Universität Berlin
  • 2013: Research Visit | The University of Texas at Austin, Poldracklab & Imaging Research Center, USA
  • 2012: B.A. Liberal Arts and Sciences | University College Maastricht, Netherlands
  • 2011: Exchange Semester | Singapore Management University


  • 2019: DeFinetti Award for best PhD paper ("Exploiting risk-reward structures in decision making under uncertainty"), awarded by the European Association for Judgment and Decision Making (EADM)


Leuker, C., Samartzidis, L., & Hertwig, R. (in press). What makes a market transaction morally repugnant? Cognition. Preprint

Leuker, C., Hertwig, R., Gumenik, K., Eggeling, L. M., Hechtlinger, S., Kozyreva, A., Samaan, L. & Fleischhut, N. (2020). Wie informiert sich die Bevölkerung in Deutschland rund um das Coronavirus? Umfrage zu vorherrschenden Themen und Gründen, dem Umgang mit Fehlinformationen, sowie der Risikowahrnehmung und dem Wissen der Bevölkerung rund um das Coronavirus. Berlin: Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung. doi:10.17617/2.3247925

Pleskac, T. J., Conradt, L., Leuker, C., & Hertwig, R. (2020). The ecology of competition: A theory of risk-reward environments in adaptive decision making. Psychological Review. doi:10.1037/rev0000261

Krueger, J., Hahn, U., Gaechter, S., Hertwig, R., Kornhauser, L. A., Leuker, C., Szech, N., & Waldmann, M. (2020). Normative implications of deliberate ignorance (Strüngmann Forum Reports). In C. Engel & R.Hertwig (Eds.), Deliberate ignorance: Choosing not to know (pp. 240–271). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Leuker, C., Samartzidis, L., Hertwig, R., & Pleskac, T. J. (2020). When money talks: Judging risk and coercion in high-paying clinical trials. PLoS ONE 15(1): e0227898. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0227898 Preprint

Pleskac, T. J., Hertwig, R., Leuker, C., & Conradt, L. (2019). Using risk-reward structures to reckon with uncertainty. In R. Hertwig, T. Pleskac, T. Pachur & the Center for Adaptive Rationality, Taming uncertainty (pp. 51–70). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Leuker, C., Pachur, T., Hertwig, R., & Pleskac, T. J.  (2019). Do people exploit risk-reward structures to simplify information processing in risky choice? Journal of the Economic Science Association, 5(1), 76–94. doi:10.1007/s40881-019-00068-y Preprint

Leuker, C., Pachur, T., Hertwig, R., & Pleskac, T. J.  (2019). Too good to be true? Psychological responses to uncommon options in risk-reward environments. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 32(3), 346–358. doi:10.1002/bdm.2116 Preprint

Leuker, C., Pachur, T., Hertwig, R., & Pleskac, T. J. (2018). Exploiting risk-reward structures in decision making under uncertainty. Cognition, 175, 186-200. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2018.02.019 Preprint

Bakkour, A., Leuker, C., Hover, A. M., Giles, N., Poldrack, R. A., & Schonberg, T. (2016). Mechanisms of choice behavior shift using cue-approach training. Frontiers in Psychology, 7:421. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00421

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