H Thomas Pouncy

PhD Candidate in Psychology

Harvard University

About me

I’m a PhD candidate working with Sam Gershman in the Psychology Department at Harvard University. I’m interested in understanding the inductive biases that drive human learning in naturalistically complex decision-making domains. In particular my work focuses on formally describing these inductive biases in video games using a variety of model-based reinforcement learning approaches. Ultimately I hope to use these techniques to better understand how these biases alternately facilitate or hinder human learning in real world training environments like the classroom.


  • Transfer learning
  • Problem solving
  • Model-based reinforcement learning

Recent Publications

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What Is the Model in Model-Based Planning?

Flexibility is one of the hallmarks of human problem-solving. In everyday life, people adapt tochanges in common tasks with little to …

Discovering social groups via latent structure learning

Humans form social coalitions in every society on earth, yet we know very little about how social group boundaries are learned and …

Human learning in Atari

Atari games are an excellent testbed for studying intelligent behavior, as they offer a range of tasks that differ widely in their …

Learning the structure of social influence

We routinely observe others’ choices and use them to guide our own. Whose choices influence us more, and why? Prior work has focused on …


Bayesian Inference


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