Michal Bialek

Below you can find a list of my ongoing research

This list is not full, but I try to keep it up to date. Under particular topic you can find a short description of main research questions, and papers submitted or under preparation (if applicable).

Moral cognition

Pro-social behaviour

Debiasing the decision making

I'm open for cooperation under any of the topics above.
You may also wish to contact me by email:

Moral cognition

It's a hot topic in current psychology. My interest focuses on how some processes, typically thought to be reflexive, can be accomplished intuitively.
I have collected some data suggesting, that:

  • Both utility and deontology are available intuitively, without using working memory
  • Reflection increases the salience of both intuitions, and can lead to debiasing of moral judgments and consistency in choices
  • Mathematical reflection boosts utilitarian and non-mathematical reflection boosts deontological moral choices

I have recently submitted following papers on this topic:

Bialek, M., Handley, S.J., Terbeck, S. (submitted) Mathematical vs moral reflection effects on moral judgement.
Bialek, M., De Neys, W. (submitted) Conflict detection during moral decision making: evidence for deontic reasoners' utilitarian sensitivity.
Bialek, M. Terbeck S. (submitted) Can cognitive psychological research on reasoning enhance the discussion on moral judgements?

Psychology of the Pro-social behaviour

Here my interest is in cognitive mechanisms of (dis)honesty, generosity and fairness. Using placebic arguments I investigate the depth of processing. The case in which people react on arguments which have no sense, but look like real arguments (i.e. in a metro: "please let me sit here, because I'm in a rush") give evidence that the process is automatic. My research shows that pro-social behaviour is automatic, but anti-social is reflexive.

I'm currently working on following papers on this topic:

Bialek, M., Tyszka, T. (in prep) The effect of placebic arguments on moral decision making.
Kolodziej, S., Bialek M. (in prep) Anti-social behaviour requires deliberation, but pro-social does not.

Debiasing the decision making

Here, together with Przemyslaw Sawicki, we try to show how procrastination and irrational risk-taking decisions can be reduced. We do not support Nudging people, as we strongly believe people are able to overcome imposed defaults and biases. By creating incongruence in defaults in presented problems (e.g. priming individuals for future perspective and asking to provide a future equivalent of the immediate gain) we have eliminated the gain-loss difference in discounting, and reduced the sign by direction asymmetry.
We are currently working on following papers on this topic:

Sawicki, P., Bialek, M. (in prep) Incongruent defaults in presented problems eliminates decision biases in Intertemporal choices.