Dr. Li’s research covers two primary areas of inquiry: decision sciences and behavioral statistics. In decision sciences, his interest is in medical decision-making. He examines how patients make treatment decisions for themselves and for someone else (e.g., for a child).
Dr. Li has done research on how patients decide whether or not to undergo genetic testing for cancer susceptibility and how parents make intervention decisions for a child with cancer and for a child with a hearing loss. These research studies led him to the area of behavioral statistics — the field that apply statistical methods to the study of human behaviors. These methods include Structural Equation Modeling (for modeling the interactions of complex psychosocial variables), Hierarchical Linear Modeling (e.g., latent growth-curve analysis) and Item Response Theory (psychometrics and instrument validation). Dr. Li seeks ways to integrate the two research areas, to use behavioral statistics to explain health behaviors and medical decision-making.