Nancy Kim


PhD, Psychology, Yale University
M.Phil., Psychology, Yale University
MS, Psychology, Yale University
BA, Psychology, magna cum laude, Harvard University

Area(s) of Expertise

Thinking, reasoning, and decision making about mental health, disorders, and treatments

Research Interests

I am interested in causal and conceptual thinking, reasoning, and decision-making. Our general approach is to concurrently address basic issues in cognitive science and applied issues in clinical science and practice. From the perspective of cognitive science, our work addresses how causal and explanatory beliefs are mentally represented and organized, and how this representation affects basic cognitive processes such as categorization, memory, judgments, and decision-making. From the perspective of clinical science, we simultaneously examine how people’s prior knowledge, beliefs, and expectations influence the assessment and diagnosis of medical and mental illness, memory for patients’ symptoms and medical information, judgments of psychological abnormality, decisions about treatment, and prejudice toward and stigmatization of patients. We are also interested in the nature and function of irrational beliefs, and lay criteria for classifying evolving concepts such as unconscious prejudice and mental disorders. Our current work examines these issues in students, lay people, patients, clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, and primary care physicians.

Lab Website

Curriculum Vitae



Department of Psychology
125 Nightingale Hall

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Why it’s so hard to make accurate predictions

Professor Nancy Kim explains why it’s so difficult for pundits—the so-called experts—to make accurate predictions about everything from sports and politics to economics and entertainment.