Cognitive Science Program

Kris Kirby

Professor, Department of Psychology
Cognitive Science Program
Williams College

Contact Me

308 Bronfman Science Center
Williams College
18 Hoxsey Street
Williamstown, MA 01267

Phone: (413) 597-3142
Fax: (413) 597-2085

E-mail: kkirby at hush dot com [NOTE: My email address has changed as of 7/2014.]


Fall 2014

PSYC 326: Choice and Decision Making

Spring 2015

PSYC 201: Experimentation and Statistics

Other Courses

PSYC 101: Introductory Psychology: Cognition Section

PSYC 221: Cognitive Psychology

COGS 222: Minds, Brains, and Intelligent Behavior: An Introduction to Cognitive Science

PSYC 361: Psychology of Nonviolence

SPEC 13: Facing Violent Crime

Winter Study (SPEC 18): Nonviolence and Noncoercion

Grant Support

National Science Foundation, SES-0617868: Utility and time perception effects in discounting of delayed rewards; 1 September 2006 to 31 August 2011. Total costs: $160,000.

National Institutes of Health, FIRST Award, MH55262: Discounting models of impulsiveness and self-control; 1 August 1996 to 30 April 2003. Totals costs: $506,376.

Russell Sage Foundation, Behavioral Economics Small Grants Program: Myopic time discounting and the term structure of the US bond market; 1 October 1999 to 28 February 2001. Co-PI, Eric Schulz, Northwestern University. Total costs: $4,236.


Gerlanc, D., & Kirby, K. N. (2012). BootES: Bootstrap Effect Sizes (Version 1.0). The R Project for Statistical Computing. [Manuscript with instructions and examples.]

Peer-Reviewed Articles

*Williams College Undergraduate.

Kirby, K. N. (2014). Gandhi, vows, and the psychology of self control. Gandhi Marg, 35(4), 519-540.

Kirby, K. N., & Gerlanc,* D. (2013). BootES: An R package for bootstrap confidence intervals on effect sizes. Behavior Research Methods, 45, 905-927. [Pre-proof manuscript.]

Kirby, K. N. (2011). An empirical assessment of the form of utility functions. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory & Cognition, 37, 461-476.

Kirby, K. N., & Finch,* J. (2010). The hierarchical structure of self-reported impulsivity. Personality and individual differences, 48, 704-713. [Data (328k). Items (33k).]

Kirby, K. N. (2009) One-year temporal stability of delay-discount rates. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 16, 457-462.

Kirby, K. N. (2006). The present values of delayed rewards are approximately additive. Behavioural Processes, 72, 273-282.

Kirby, K. N., Winston, G., & Santiesteban,* M. (2005). Impatience and grades: Delay-discount rates correlate negatively with college GPA. Learning and Individual Differences, 15(3), 213-222.

Kirby, K. N., & Petry, N. M. (2004) Heroin and cocaine abusers have higher discount rates for delayed rewards than alcoholics or non-drug-using controls. Addiction, 99, 461-471.

Kirby, K. N., & Santiesteban,* M. (2003). Concave utility, transaction costs, and risk in measuring discounting of delayed rewards.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 29(1), 66-79. [Exp. 2 data (328k)]

Kirby, K. N., Godoy, R., & et al. (2002). Correlates of delay-discount rates: Evidence from Tsimane’ Amerindians of the Bolivian rain forest. Journal of Economic Psychology, 23, 291-316.

Petry, N. M., Kirby, K. N., & Kranzler, H. R. (2002). Effects of gender and family history of alcohol dependence on a behavioral task of impulsivity in healthy subjects. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 63(1), 83-90.

Kirby, K. N., & Guastello,* B. (2001). Making choices in anticipation of similar future choices can increase self-control. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 7(2), 154-164.

Kirby, K. N., Petry, N. M., & Bickel, W. K. (1999). Heroin addicts discount delayed rewards at higher rates than non-drug using controls. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 128(1), 78-87.

Kirby, K. N. (1997). Bidding on the future: Evidence against normative discounting of delayed rewards. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 126(1), 54-70.

Kirby, K. N. & Marakovic,* N. N. (1996). Delay-discounting probabilistic rewards: Rates decrease as amounts increase. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 3(1), 100-104.

Kirby, K. N. (1996). Future directions for the melioration model of addiction. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 19(4), 583.

Kirby, K. N. & Marakovic,* N. N. (1995). Modeling myopic decisions: Evidence for hyperbolic delay-discounting within subjects and amounts. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 64(1), 22-30. [Exp. 1 data (66k).] [Exp. 2 data (61k).]

Kirby, K. N. & Herrnstein, R. J. (1995). Preference reversals due to myopic discounting of delayed reward. Psychological Science, 6(2), 83-89.

Kirby, K. N. (1994). False alarm: A reply to Over and Evans. Cognition, 52(3), 245-250.

Kirby, K. N. (1994). Probabilities and utilities of fictional outcomes in card selection tasks. Cognition, 51(1), 1–28.

Kirby, K. N. (1992). Intensity of stimulation, necessary truths, and the acquisition of numeracy. Mind & Language,7(4), 359-363.

Kirby, K. N. (1992). Certainty, reliability, and visual images. Mind & Language, 7(4), 402-408.

Kirby, K. N., & Kosslyn, S. M. (1990). Thinking visually. Mind & Language, 5(4), 324-341.


Kirby, K. N. (1993). Advanced Data Analysis with SYSTAT. NY: Von Nostrand Reinhold.

Editorial Boards

2012–pres   Judgment and Decision Making

2010–pres   Journal of Behavioral Decision Making

2005–08    Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior

1996–99     Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition

Professional Associations

Psychonomic Society


1985–91       Ph.D., Cognitive Psychology; Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

1982–85      B.A., Psychology; B.A., Philosophy; Marshall University, Huntington, WV

1980–82     West Virginia Institute of Technology, Montgomery, WV

Supervision of Senior Honors Theses at Williams College

Nino Marakovic ’94, A choice-analytic approach to impulsiveness.

Barbarose Guastello ’97, Motivating self-control by linking future rewards.

Julie Finch ’97, The relationships between the dimensions of impulsivity and delay and probability discounting.

Maria-Teresa Plantilla ’97, Delay discounting and the time course of regret.

Mariana Santiesteban ’97, Transaction costs, risk and practice in myopic decision making.

Kristin M. Frentzel ’98, The effect of patterns of behavior on self-control.

Justin S. Houk ’98, To Stroop or not to Stroop: A novel experimental paradigm for  studying impulsivity.

Jennifer C. Page ’00, The magnitude effect in intertemporal and risky decision making: Fact or artifact?

Daniel Klasik ’03, The value of the future: Utility functions and intertemporal decision making.

Noam Yuchtman ’05, Are gamblers rational? Examining the impact of indivisible goods on individuals’ risk preferences.

Burcu Gurcay ’10, Allais Paradox with learned probabilities.

Tasha Chu ’11, The magnitude effect on the discounting of the utility of delayed rewards.