Dr Zeljka Buturovic is a Research Associate at the Institute for Social Sciences. Prior to joining the institute, she worked in public opinion research. Zeljka obtained her doctorate in psychology from Columbia University in 2009. She obtained a masters degree in psychology from the same university, as well as a masters degree in statistics from Harvard.
Zeljka’s research interests fall into two main areas:
1.Mostly empirical projects regarding breastfeeding, family formation and parenting choices. The focus here is on psychological factors, such as perception of difficulty or peer fertility, and normative factors reflective in highly moralizing parenting culture and even public health research. Family related decision-making is an extension of a long-standing interest in decision-making.
2. A development and application of a novel decision-making model to long-standing problems in political science and philosophy. This model stands in contrast to consequentialist theories of decision-making such as expected utility (EU). On this view, conventional critiques of expected utility coming from behavioral economics essentially reinforce the fundamental problems of EU - the idea that probability is central for decision making; that the crux of decision-making is algebraic manipulation within a fixed set of options as opposed to discovery of options and scenarios; that knowledge obtained and even remembered is fixed once a discrete event ‘decision’ commences, rendering its very occurrence somewhat of a mystery etc. This alternate proposal sees decision-making as an eclectic process which does not exclusively rely on any particular psychological process (such as intuition, emotion, or reasoning).