Petter Johansson

Pro Futura Scientia Fellow, SCAS.
Associate Professor of Cognitive Science, Lund University

Petter Johansson received his Ph.D. in Cognitive Science from Lund University in 2006 for the
thesis Choice Blindness: The Incongruence of Intention, Action and Introspection. He has since
held Postdoctoral Fellowships at the University of Tokyo, at Lund University and at University
College London.
                             The main theme of Johansson’s research is the relationship between self-
knowledge and intentional action. How much do we know about ourselves, and how do we
come to acquire this knowledge? To study these questions, Johansson and his collaborators
have developed an experimental paradigm referred to as ‘choice blindness’. The methodological
twist in these experiments is to surreptitiously manipulate the outcome of people’s choices,
and then measure to what extent and in what ways people react to these changes. The general
finding is that participants often fail to detect when they receive the opposite of their choice,
and when asked to explain, they readily construct answers motivating a choice they only believe
they intended to make. The effect has been demonstrated in choice experiments on topics such
as facial attractiveness, consumer choice and moral and political decision making.
                             Johansson’s most important contribution is the article ‘Failure to Detect
Mismatches between Intention and Outcome in a Simple Decision Task’ (Science, 2005). In
addition, he has published articles in journals such as Proceedings of the National Academy of
the Sciences
(PNAS), Cognition and Psychological Science, as well as the book Cognition,
Education and Communication Technology
(with Peter Gärdenfors, 2005).
                             During his time as a Pro Futura Scientia Fellow, Johansson will focus on the
theoretical implications of choice blindness, with a particular emphasis on the formation of
preference as a consequence of making a choice.

This information is accurate as of the academic year 2017-18.