Dr Matthew Welsh

Research Fellow
Dr Matthew Welsh
  Org Unit Australian School of Petroleum
  Email matthew.welsh@adelaide.edu.au
  Telephone +61 8 8313 8024
  Location Floor/Room 3 02c ,  Santos Petroleum Engineering Building ,   North Terrace

B.A.(Hons) - Class 2A in Philosophy

B.Sc.(Hons) - 1st Class in Psychology

Grad. Cert. Ed. (Higher)

Ph.D. in Psychology (Adelaide)

I am a psychological scientist working in the Australian School of Petroleum's Centre for Improved Business Performance (CIBP), which is part of the University's Institute for Mineral and Energy Resources (IMER). Our group, led by Prof. Steve Begg, is funded by companies under a "research club" structure, whereby members join to gain access to all research undertaken by the group.

My primary area of research is in decision making under uncertainty, particularly as it relates to real world problems such as those faced in the petroleum industry. My current focus is on examining the impact, in terms of both accuracy and economic outcomes, of cognitive biases on petroleum decisions and mechanisms for reducing these. These mechanisms include traditional methods such as debiasing through feedback and the use of heuristic decision making methods.

This had led to me consider the role that elicitation plays in the shaping the data provided by both expert and novice decision makers. That is, how should we ask questions in order to translate a person's beliefs into useable, numerical formats while avoiding biases known to affect judgements made under uncertainty.

I have reviewed papers for Psychological Science, Cognitive Science, the Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, AAPG Bulletin, SPE Economics and Management, the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, Management Research Review and the Journal of Mathematical Psychology.

Published papers


  1. Kaesler, M., Welsh, M. & Semmler, C. (2016). Predicting overprecision in range estimation. In A. Papafragou, D. Grodner, D. Mirman, and J. Trueswell (Eds), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Cognitive Science Society Meeting. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

  2. Newman, D., Begg, S. & Welsh, M. (2016). Front end loading: misunderstood or misapplied? Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association Journal.
  3. Welsh, M. & Begg, S. (2016). What have we learnt? Insights from a decade of bias research. Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association Journal.
  4. Welsh, M., Steacy, S., Begg, S. & Navarro, D. (2016). A Tale of Two Disasters: Biases in Risk Communication  In A. Papafragou, D. Grodner, D. Mirman, and J. Trueswell (Eds), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Cognitive Science Society Meeting. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
  5. *Welsh, M. & Begg, S. (2015).Reducing overconfidence in forecasting with repeated judgement elicitation. In D. Noelle, R. Dale, A. Warlaumont, J. Yoshimi, T. Matlock, C. Jennings, & P. Maglio (Eds), Proceedings of the 37th Annual Cognitive Science Society Meeting (pp 2637-2642). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
  6. Begg, S., Bratvold, R, & Welsh, M. (2014). Uncertainty vs Variability: what's the difference and why is it important? In SPE Hydrocarbon Economics and Evaluation Symposium. Society of Petroleum Engineers.
  7. Welsh, M., Delfabbro, P., Burns, N. & Begg, S. (2014). Individual differences in anchoring: traits and experience. Learning and Individual Differences, 29, 131-140. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2013.01.002.
  8. Welsh, M., Burns, N. & Delfabbro, P. (2013). The Cognitive Reflection Test: how much more than Numerical Ability? In M. Knauff, M. Pauen, N. Sebanz, & I. Wachsmuth (Eds.), Proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 1587-1592). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
  9. Welsh, M. (2012). Intensive teaching modes: benefits, drawbacks and directions forward. Proceedings of the 2012 AAEE Conference, Melbourne, Australia.
  10. Welsh, M. (2012). Expertise and the Wisdom of Crowds: Whose Judgments to Trust and When. In N. Miyake, D. Peebles and R.P. Cooper (Eds), Proceedings of the 34th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 1131-1136). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
  11. Welsh, M. & Navarro, D. (2012). Seeing is Believing: Priors, Trust and Base Rate Neglect. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 119 (1), pp. 1-14. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.obhdp.2012.04.001
  12. Welsh, M. & Begg, S. (2012). Personal ruin versus corporate profit: why individual risk attitudes lessen economic outcomes. APPEA Journal, 52 (1), pp. 301-310.
  13. Sykes, M., Welsh, M. & Begg, S. (2011). SPE 146230 - Don't Drop the Anchor: Recognizing and Mitigating Human Factors When Making Assessment Judgments Under Uncertainty. Proceedings of the 2010 Society of Petroleum Engineers Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition. Austin, TX: SPE. 
  14. Bruza, B, Welsh, M, Navarro, D. & Begg, S. (2011). Does anchoring cause overconfidence only in experts? In L. Carlson, C. Hölscher, & T. Shipley (Eds.), Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 1947-1952). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

  15. Welsh, M., Delfabbro, P., Burns, N. & Begg, S. (2011). Individual differences in anchoring: numerical ability, education and experience. In L. Carlson, C. Hölscher, & T. Shipley (Eds.), Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 3193-3198). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
  16. Welsh, M, Navarro, D. & Begg, S. (2011). Number preference, precision and implicit confidence. In L. Carlson, C. Hölscher, & T. Shipley (Eds.), Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 1521-1526). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
  17. Welsh, M., Alhakim, A., Ball, F., Dunstan, J. & Begg, S. (2011). Do personality traits affect decision making ability: can MBTI type predict biases? APPEA Journal, 51(1), pp 359-368.
  18. Bruza, B., Welsh, M., Navarro,  D. & Begg, S. (2010). Effect of presentation order and question format on subjecive probability judgments. Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Conference.

  19. Mackie, S., Begg, S., Smith, C. & Welsh, M. (2010). Human Decision-Making in the Oil and Gas Industry. Proceedings of the Society of Petroleum Engineers Asia Pacific Oil and Gas Conference.
  20. Welsh, M. & Begg, S. (2010). Don't let it weigh you down: how to benefit from anchoring. Proceedings of the 2010 Society of Petroleum Engineers Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition.
  21. Welsh, M., Rees, N., Ringwood, H. & Begg, S. (2010). The Planning Fallacy in Oil and Gas Decision Making. APPEA Journal, 50 (1), pp 389-401.

  22. Welsh, M. (2010). Of parrots and parsimony: reconsidering Morgan's canon. Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Conference.

  23. Welsh, M. & Begg, S. (2009). Repeated judgment elicitation: tapping the wisdom of crowds in individuals. Proceedings of the 85th Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

  24. Welsh, M., Lee, M & Begg, S. (2009). Repeated judgments in elicitation tasks: efficacy of the MOLE method. In N.A. Taatgen & H. van Rijn (Eds), Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp1529-1534). Austin,TX:CognitiveScience Society.

  25. * Bruza, B., Welsh, M. & Navarro, D. (2008). Does Memory Mediate Susceptibility to Cognitive Biases? Implications of the Decision-by-Sampling Theory. In V. Sloutsky, B. Love, & K. McRae (Eds.) Proceedings of the 30th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society.

  26. Heywood-Smith, A., Welsh, M. & Begg, S. (2008). Cognitive Errors in Estimation: Does Anchoring Cause Overconfidence? Proceedings of the 84th Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

  27. Welsh, M. & Begg, S. (2008). Modeling the Economic Impact of Individual and Corporate Risk Attitude. Proceedings of the 84th Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

  28. * Welsh, M., Lee, M. & Begg, S. (2008). More-Or-Less Elicitation (MOLE): Testing a heuristic elicitation method. In V. Sloutsky, B. Love, & K. McRae (Eds.) Proceedings of the 30th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society.

  29. Mackie, S., Begg, S., Smith, C. & Welsh, M. (2008). "Real World" Decision-Making in the Upstream Oil and Gas Industry - Prescriptions for Improvement. APPEA Journal, 48(1), pp 329-343.

  30. Elliot, T., Welsh, M., Nettelbeck, T. & Mills, V. (2007). Investigating Naturalistic Decision Making in a simulated micro-world: What questions should we ask? Behavior Research Methods, 39(4), pp 901-910.

  31. Welsh, M., Begg, S. & Bratvold, R. (2007). Modeling the economic impact of cognitive biases on oil and gas decisions. Proceedings of the 83rd Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Richardson, TX: SPE.

  32. * Welsh, M., Begg, S. & Bratvold, R. (2007). Efficacy of bias awareness in debiasing oil and gas judgments. Proceedings of the 29th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society.

  33. * Welsh, M., & Navarro, D. (2007). Seeing is believing: priors, trust and base rate neglect. Proceedings of the 29th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society.

  34. Mackie, S., Begg, S., Smith, C. & Welsh, M. (2007). Decision type - a key to realizing the potential of decision-making under uncertainty. APPEA Journal, 22(1), pp. 307-317.

  35. Chapman, T., Nettelbeck, T., Welsh, M. & Mills, V. (2006). Investigating the construct validity associated with microworld research: a comparison of performance under different management structures across expert and non-expert naturalistic decision-making groups. Australian Journal of Psychology, 58(1), pp. 40-47.

  36. Mackie, S., Welsh, M. & Lee, M. (2006). An oil and gas decision-making taxonomy. Proceedings of the 2006 Asia Pacific Oil and Gas Conference of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Richardson, TX: SPE.

  37. Welsh, M., Begg, S. & Bratvold, R. (2006). Correcting common errors in probabilistic evaluations: efficacy of debiasing. Proceedings of the 82nd Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Richardson, TX: SPE.

  38. Lee, M., Pincombe, B. & Welsh, M. (2005). An empirical evaluation of models of text document similarity. Proceedings of the 27th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

  39. Welsh, M., Bratvold, R. & Begg, S. (2005). Cognitive biases in the petroleum industry: impact and remediation. Proceedings of the 81st Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Richardson, TX: SPE.

  40. Lee, M., O'Connor, T. & Welsh, M. (2004). Decision making on the full information secretary problem. Proceedings of the 26th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

  41. Welsh, M., Begg, S., Bratvold, R. & Lee, M. (2004). Problems with the elicitation of uncertainty. Proceedings of the 80th Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Richardson, TX: SPE.

*Preprints of asterisked papers are available for download below...

Member Society of Petroleum Engineers 2004-present

Member Cognitive Science Society 2007-present

Member Association for Psychological Science 2009-present

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Entry last updated: Friday, 18 Nov 2016

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