Ms Susan Cooper

Research project: Individual differences and representational effects in perceptions of risk


Increasingly, individuals are exposed to probability and risk information (e.g., health risk information), and often expected to make informed, sometimes critical, decisions based upon it. However, such risks can be presented in various forms (e.g., verbally, numerically, graphically), which can influence perception. Where a numerical format is used, numeracy skills can also be pivotal to comprehension and govern subsequent decisions. My research investigates the effects of these factors on decisions involving risk: how different external representations affect perception, and how best to present risk information in order to aid comprehension and facilitate good decision-making.


After completing my undergraduate degree in Computer Science and a PGCE at UCL, I taught Mathematics for several years at local secondary schools, hence my interest in mathematical and numerical cognition. I completed the MSc in Behavioural Decision Science at Kingston in 2018, and started my PhD here in 2019.

Areas of research interest

  • Numeracy
  • Representational effects
  • Risk perception
  • Decision making
  • Causal judgment


  • BSc (Hons) Computer Science, Kingston University
  • PGCE Mathematics, UCL
  • MSc Behavioural and Decision Science, Kingston University


Cooper, S., & Vallée-Tourangeau, F. (2021). The effects of numeracy and presentation format on judgments of contingency. Memory & Cognition, 49(2), 389-399.

Terry, J. et al. (2023). Data from an International Multi-centre Study of Statistics and Mathematics Anxieties and Related Variables in University Students (the SMARVUS Dataset). Journal of Open Psychology Data, 11(1), 1–25.