Dr Yasmina Okan

Dr Yasmina Okan


Download Yasmina’s CV here.

Dr. Yasmina Okan is an Associate Professor in Behavioral Decision Making at the Centre for Decision Research. She holds a PhD in Experimental Psychology from the University of Granada (Spain) and an MSc in Cognitive and Decision Sciences from University College London. She has been a Visiting Researcher at different international institutions, including the Max Planck Institute for Human Development (Germany) and Wake Forest University (US). She is a Fellow of the Psychonomic Society, in recognition of international reputation for excellence in the psychological sciences, and a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy, in recognition of attainment against the UK Professional Standards Framework for teaching and learning support in higher education.

Yasmina's research focuses on the psychology of judgment and decision making, with an emphasis on health risk perception and communication. She is also interested in climate risk perception, and moral judgment and decision making. Her research has been supported by grants from Cancer Research UK, the US Informed Medical Decisions Foundation, the Worldwide Universities Network, and the Spanish Ministry of Education and Culture.

Yasmina has also received awards in recognition of excellence in teaching, including the Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence (2015) and the Management Division Teaching Award (2016) from Leeds University Business School.


  • Associate Professor in Behavioural Decision Making
  • President, Society for the Advancement of Judgment and Decision Making Studies (SEJyD)

Research interests

One of my main lines of research focuses on how people interpret health risk communications, and how such communications can be improved to support informed decision making. Examples of projects include:

  • Improving web-based communications about cervical cancer screening: This project examines how information about benefits and risks of cervical screening is communicated in UK websites, how women interpret the NHS cervical screening leaflet, and how to improve communications about cervical screening using simple graphs
  • Examining the impact of graphical displays on risk understanding and decision making: This includes ongoing studies examining how people process graphs, the effectiveness of graphical displays to reduce common judgment biases, and the impact of different graphical design features on understanding of health risks and associated decisions
  • Developing a short scale to assess individual differences in graph literacy: This project involved developing a new 4-item Short Graph Literacy (SGL) scale and examining how SGL scores relate to key precursors of health behavior change. The scale can be accessed here

Another line of research has focused on examining contextual and emotional factors affecting moral judgments and decisions, including the temporal order in which different moral dilemmas are evaluated, the effect of different types of emotions, and age-differences in moral judgement.

I am also interested in factors shaping public perceptions of climate change risks.

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


  • PhD Experimental Psychology, University of Granada (Spain), 2013
  • MSc Cognitive and Decision Sciences, University College London (United Kingdom), 2008
  • BSc Psychology, Autonomous University of Madrid (Spain), 2006
  • University of Leeds Teaching and Research Award. Higher Education Academy (HEA), 2015

Professional memberships

  • Fellow, Psychonomic Society (US)
  • Fellow, Higher Education Academy (UK)
  • President, Society for the Advancement of Judgment and Decision Making Studies (SEJyD)
  • Member, Society for Judgment and Decision Making
  • Member, European Association for Decision Making

Student education

Module leadership

  • Current Issues in Decision Making; Leeds University Business School: 3rd year undergraduate course
  • How Managers Make Decisions; Leeds University Business School: 2nd year undergraduate course
  • Effective Decision Making; Leeds University Business School: MSc course

Other lecturing

  • Management Decision Making (Team Member); Leeds University Business School: 3rd year undergraduate course
  • Management Decision Making (Team Member); Leeds University Business School: FT MBA Management Decision Making
  • Business Analytics and Decision Making (Team Member); Leeds University Business School: FT MBA Management Decision Making 
  • Cancer and Continuing Care (Guest Lecturer); Leeds School of Medicine: MBChB year 4 

Current PhD students


Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Decision Research