Gulbanu Kaptan

Associate Professor in Behavioural Decision Making

+44 (0) 113 343 8563
Staff, Academic, Research Centres, Centre for Decision Research (CDR), Divisions, Management
1.18 Charles Thackrah
Judgement and decision making with special interest in food-related risk (benefit) perception and communication, and social value foundations of risk)


PhD Business Administration, Bilkent University (Turkey)
MBA Baskent University (Turkey)
MSc Food Engineering, Middle East Technical University (Turkey)
BSc Food Engineering, Middle East Technical University (Turkey)


My research interests focus on judgment and decision making, with particular interest in food-related risk (benefit) perception, communication, and analysis.

After some years in applied work as a food engineer, I resumed my studies, acquiring an M.B.A. and Ph.D. in Business Administration, focused on decision, risk, and operations management.  My Ph.D. thesis includes a theoretical analysis that links risk beliefs and attitudes to social factors.  It involves a cross-cultural study in Turkey and Israel that examines the relationships between human values and risk perceptions.  I conducted the study as an exchange Ph.D. student in the Psychology Department of Tel Aviv University (Israel).  This work was supported by research grants from Bilkent University Business School (Turkey) and Moshe Dayan Center at Tel Aviv University.

After completing my Ph.D., I was awarded an EU-FP7 Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship for Career Development.  This 3-year fellowship gives European researchers the opportunity to be trained and acquire new knowledge at a high-level research organization in a third country, then return with this experience to a research organization in the E.U.  I completed the first two years in the Department of Social and Decision Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University (US), and the last year at the Centre for Rural Economy at Newcastle University. I applied the mental models methodology to identifying the critical gaps between lay and expert knowledge, providing a basis for developing and evaluating risk communications, with a focus on food safety.  I also worked as an external reviewer for National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine's draft report by the Committee on “Review of Food and Drug Administration’s Role in Ensuring Safe Food.”

  • Consumer understanding of food-related (e.g., nutrition, food safety, food waste, novel food technologies) risks and benefits
  • Developing risk (benefit) communications, and other public health interventions related to food choice
  • Eating behaviour
  • Social value foundations of risk (i.e., relationship between social factors and risk beliefs & attitudes)

I welcome contact from prospective PhD candidates interested in any of the above research topics.


I'm the winner of LUBS 2017-18 Partnership awards in the category of Best Feedback - the person who provides invaluable and supportive academic feedback, in both content and delivery method, which helps others to develop and excel in their work.

Undergraduate teaching (current):
LUBS1785 Introduction to Effective Decision Making (Module Leader)
LUBS2765 Advanced Management Decision Making (Module Leader)
LUBS3885 Management Decision Making (Team member)

Postgraduate teaching (current): 
LUBS5253 Advanced Management Decision Making (Module Leader) 
LUBS5202 Risk Perception and Communication (Team member)


Associate Professor in Behavioural Decision Making

Personal tutor to postgraduate students



Kaptan, G. (2018). Consumer perceptions of food-related risks and benefits. In G. Smithers (Ed.). Reference Module in Food Science. Elsevier.

Perkovic, S., Bown, N., & Kaptan, G. (2018). Systematicity of Search Index: A New Measure for Exploring Information Search Patterns. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 1-13.

Kendall H., Kaptan G., Stewart, G., Grainger, M., Kuznesof S., Naughton, P., Hubbard C., Raley M., Marvin H. J., & Frewer, L.J. (2018). Drivers of existing and emerging food safety risks: Expert opinion regarding multiple impacts. Food Control, 90, 440-458.

Kaptan G., Fischer A.R.H., & Frewer L.J. (2018).Extrapolating understanding of food risk perceptions to emerging food safety cases. Journal of Risk Research, 21(8), 996-1018 . URL:

Frewer L.J, Coles D, Dijkstra A.M., Kuznesof S., Kendall H., & Kaptan G. (2016). Synthetic biology applied in the agrifood sector: societal priorities and pitfalls. Applied Studies in Agribusiness and Commerce – APSTRACT, 10 (2-3), 89-96. 

Frewer L.J., Fischer A.R.H., Kaptan, G. (2016). Consumer perceptions of risks from food. In H. Lelieveld, I.T. Mosterts & J. Holah (Eds.). Handbook of hygiene control in the food industry. Abington, Cambridge: Woodhead Publishing Ltd. 

George S., Kaptan G., Lee J., & Frewer L.J. (2014). Awareness on adverse effects of nanotechnology increases negative perception among public: Survey study from Singapore. Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 16, 1-11. 

Kaptan, G., Shiloh, S., & Önkal, D. (2013).  Values and risk perceptions: A cross-cultural examination. Risk Analysis, 33, 318-332. 

Kaptan, G., & Fischhoff, B. (2011). Diagnosing foodborne illness: A behavioral analysis of barriers to testing. Journal of Public Health Policy, 32, 60-72.  

Kaptan, G., & Fischhoff, B. (2010). Sticky decisions: Peanut butter in a time of Salmonella. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 16, 900-904. reprinted in Baruch Fischhoff, Risk Analysis and Human Behavior (pp 351-359). New York: Routledge/Earthscan. 

Shiloh, S., Güvenç, G., & Önkal, D. (2007).  Cognitive and emotional representations of terror attacks: A cross-cultural exploration.  Risk Analysis, 27, 397-409.  

Güvenç, G., & Önkal, D. (2004). Perception of diabetes: The Turkish case.  Psychology and Health, 19, 70S. 

Thomson, M.E., Önkal, D., & Güvenç, G. (2003).  A cognitive portrayal of risk perceptions in Turkey: Some cross-national comparisons.  Risk Management: An International Journal, 5 (4), 25-35.  

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