skip to content

The Psychometrics Centre

Cambridge Judge Business School
 
Subscribe to Other Psychology Seminars feed
Description to be confirmed
Updated: 18 min 54 sec ago

Thu 05 Mar 15:30: Title tbc

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 07:46
Title tbc

Abstract not available

Add to your calendar or Include in your list

Fri 13 Mar 16:30: Title to be confirmed PLEASE NOTE THIS TALK HAS BEEN CANCELLED.

Thu, 20/02/2020 - 14:39
Title to be confirmed

Abstract not available

PLEASE NOTE THIS TALK HAS BEEN CANCELLED.

Add to your calendar or Include in your list

Fri 21 Feb 16:30: Fragile Memories for Fleeting Percepts PLEASE NOTE THIS TALK HAS BEEN CANCELLED.

Tue, 18/02/2020 - 16:30
Fragile Memories for Fleeting Percepts

The Simultaneous Type/ Serial Token (STST) model of temporal attention and working memory (Bowman & Wyble, 2007) was published over 10 years ago as a theory of the attentional blink and associated phenomena. In the intervening period, the scope of the theory has grown, becoming a theory of the episodic nature of attention and perception (Wyble et al, 2011). Recently, we have also been considering the implications of the STST model for theories of conscious perception. If one interprets the neural network model that implements the STST theory literally, it makes two particular predictions for conscious experience: 1) that we can pre-consciously search our sensory environments for salient stimuli (type-information); and 2) that we cannot pre-consciously search our sensory environment on the basis of episodic information (token-information). The latter of these fits well with theories of conscious perception based upon event individuation (Kanwisher, 2001). Using rapid serial visual presentation, I will report a series of EEG (Bowman et al, 2014) and behavioural (Aviles et al, 2020) experiments that provide evidence in support of these two predictions. These experiments focus on the fragility, even absence, of memory for fleetingly presented stimuli. We argue that these findings provide support for a theory we call the tokenised percept hypothesis. Avilés, A., Bowman, H., & Wyble, B. (2020). On the limits of evidence accumulation of the preconscious percept. Cognition, 195, 104080. Bowman, H., & Wyble, B. (2007). The simultaneous type, serial token model of temporal attention and working memory. Psychological review, 114(1), 38. Bowman, H., Filetti, M., Alsufyani, A., Janssen, D., & Su, L. (2014). Countering countermeasures: detecting identity lies by detecting conscious breakthrough. PloS one, 9(3). Kanwisher, N. (2001). Neural events and perceptual awareness. Cognition, 79(1-2), 89-113. Wyble, B., Potter, M. C., Bowman, H., & Nieuwenstein, M. (2011). Attentional episodes in visual perception. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 140(3), 488.

Howard Bowman is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and Professor of Cognition and Logic in Computing at the University of Kent. He also holds a visiting position at the Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging, UCL . For the first half of his career, he worked in theoretical computer science; specific contributions were on decision procedures for temporal logics and process calculi in concurrency theory. More recently, he has worked in cognitive neuroscience, with particular focus on theories of temporal attention (e.g. the Simultaneous Type/ Serial Token model) and the role of oscillations in episodic memory formation (e.g. the Synch/deSynch model). He also has interests in methods development for neuroimaging, e.g. problems of small samples, and over-fitting of hyper-parameters in machine learning and region of interest selection. Finally, he is currently commercialising his EEG findings in a forensics context with the company vision metric and funding from Innovate UK.

PLEASE NOTE THIS TALK HAS BEEN CANCELLED.

Add to your calendar or Include in your list

Fri 07 Feb 16:30: Visuospatial working memory as a fundamental component of the eye movement system.

Tue, 04/02/2020 - 14:58
Visuospatial working memory as a fundamental component of the eye movement system.

Humans make frequent movements of the eyes (saccades) to explore the visual environment. In this talk, I will argue that visuospatial working memory (VSWM) is a fundamental component of the eye movement system. Memory representations in VSWM are functionally integrated at all stages of orienting: (a) selection of the target; (b) maintenance of visual features across the saccade; (c) the computation of object correspondence after the saccade, supporting the experience of perceptual continuity; and (d) the correction of gaze when the eyes fail to land on the intended object. VSWM is finely tuned to meet the challenges of active vision.

Stefan van der Stigchel is a professor in Cognitive Psychology at Utrecht University and head of the research group Attentionlab. The group’s aim is to study how attention and visual awareness shape the perception of the world around us. Stefan is a member of the Young Academy of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and author of a recent popular science book ‘How attention works’ published by MIT Press.

Add to your calendar or Include in your list

Wed 11 Mar 16:00: A zero-item personality test? Predicting personality traits from social media data

Wed, 22/01/2020 - 16:10
A zero-item personality test? Predicting personality traits from social media data

Many researchers, including myself (e.g. Kosinski, Graepel & Stillwell, 2013), have published papers showing that psychological traits like personality and intelligence can be predicted from the digital footprints people leave behind when they use online services like social media. But are these predictions psychometrically reliable, valid, and unbiased? The Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal clearly demonstrates that the public is uneasy when they feel their data was misused, but on the other hand the public also likes their data to be used to personalise recommendations and services. Ultimately, should this technology be used in practice, and if so under what conditions?

Dr. David Stillwell is Lecturer in Big Data Analytics and Quantitative Social Science at Judge Business School in the University of Cambridge. He is also Academic Director of the Psychometrics Centre. David studies the links between big data and psychology; his research with 6 million social media users found that the computer can predict a user’s personality as accurately as their spouse can. Follow up research found that personalizing an advert to the recipient’s psychology is more effective than generic ads. David has also published research using various big data sources to show that spending money on products and services that match one’s personality leads to greater life satisfaction, that people tend to date others who have a similar personality, and that people who swear seem to be more honest.

Twitter: @david_stillwell

Add to your calendar or Include in your list

Wed 29 Jan 16:00: Tribalism in War and Peace: The nature and evolution of ideological epistemology and its significance for modern social science

Tue, 21/01/2020 - 14:26
Tribalism in War and Peace: The nature and evolution of ideological epistemology and its significance for modern social science

Because of a long history of intergroup conflict, humans evolved to be tribal. These tribal tendencies can lead individuals to sacrifice sound reasoning and judgmental accuracy in order to conform to and defend the views of their ingroup. Political tribes are one of the most salient forms of modern tribal identity, and so politics likely triggers these tribal tendencies, leading to ideologically distorted information processing. My work has shown that these ideological biases exist in similar degrees in liberals and conservatives, but certain sacred concerns can lead to stronger biases in one group than in the other. Liberals have sacred concerns about traditionally conceived disadvantaged groups, and thus liberals are more biased than conservatives when evaluating information with significance to such groups. And because social scientists are overwhelmingly liberal, these sacred concerns may have biased and may continue to bias the conclusions drawn by social scientists.

Cory Clark received her PhD in Social Psychology from University of California, Irvine in 2014, and she is currently an Assistant Professor of Social Psychology at Durham University. She has two main programs of research, examining (1) how punitive desires shape beliefs about human agency and moral responsibility, and (2) how political biases influence evaluations of science. She also co-hosts a podcast, Psyphilopod, which covers psychology, philosophy, politics, and academic culture.

Add to your calendar or Include in your list

Wed 12 Feb 16:00: Feeling good, doing good: The potential of positive self-directed emotions to motivate prosociality

Fri, 17/01/2020 - 18:03
Feeling good, doing good: The potential of positive self-directed emotions to motivate prosociality

Faced with global challenges, such as environmental degradation, social inequality, and discrimination against marginalized societal groups, identifying strategies to promote concern for the well-being of others and to encourage prosocial action is of high relevance. Caring about others and acting prosocially, however, takes up emotional and cognitive resources of which humans only have a limited amount. In this research I suggest that addressing the fundamental human need of establishing and maintaining a positive self-image may free up resources to engage in prosociality. I explore the potential of positive self-directed emotions in a suite of studies across two cultural contexts, the United States and Nigeria, looking at pro-environmental decision making, charitable giving and volunteering, as well as discrimination against marginalized societal groups.

Dr. Claudia R. Schneider received her PhD in Psychology from Columbia University, where she worked at the Centre for Research on Environmental Decisions, the Earth Institute. As an Ivy League Exchange Scholar she furthermore held a graduate research position at Princeton University. She currently works as a Research Associate at the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication and the Cambridge Social Decision-Making Laboratory, University of Cambridge. Her research explores avenues to address society-level social issues, such as climate change mitigation, intergroup conflict, and the balanced and transparent communication of evidence.

Add to your calendar or Include in your list

Wed 11 Mar 16:00: A zero-item personality test? Predicting personality traits from social media data

Fri, 17/01/2020 - 18:01
A zero-item personality test? Predicting personality traits from social media data

Many researchers, including myself (e.g. Kosinski, Graepel & Stillwell, 2013), have published papers showing that psychological traits like personality and intelligence can be predicted from the digital footprints people leave behind when they use online services like social media. But are these predictions psychometrically reliable, valid, and unbiased? The Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal clearly demonstrates that the public is uneasy when they feel their data was misused, but on the other hand the public also likes their data to be used to personalise recommendations and services. Ultimately, should this technology be used in practice, and if so under what conditions?

Dr. David Stillwell is Lecturer in Big Data Analytics and Quantitative Social Science at Judge Business School in the University of Cambridge. He is also Academic Director of the Psychometrics Centre. David studies the links between big data and psychology; his research with 6 million social media users found that the computer can predict a user’s personality as accurately as their spouse can. Follow up research found that personalizing an advert to the recipient’s psychology is more effective than generic ads. David has also published research using various big data sources to show that spending money on products and services that match one’s personality leads to greater life satisfaction, that people tend to date others who have a similar personality, and that people who swear seem to be more honest.

Twitter: @david_stillwell

Add to your calendar or Include in your list

Mon 17 Feb 14:00: Consciousness

Thu, 16/01/2020 - 14:41
Consciousness

Abstract not available

Add to your calendar or Include in your list

Wed 12 Feb 15:00: Feeling good, doing good: The potential of positive self-directed emotions to motivate prosociality

Wed, 15/01/2020 - 15:19
Feeling good, doing good: The potential of positive self-directed emotions to motivate prosociality

Faced with global challenges, such as environmental degradation, social inequality, and discrimination against marginalized societal groups, identifying strategies to promote concern for the well-being of others and to encourage prosocial action is of high relevance. Caring about others and acting prosocially, however, takes up emotional and cognitive resources of which humans only have a limited amount. In this research I suggest that addressing the fundamental human need of establishing and maintaining a positive self-image may free up resources to engage in prosociality. I explore the potential of positive self-directed emotions in a suite of studies across two cultural contexts, the United States and Nigeria, looking at pro-environmental decision making, charitable giving and volunteering, as well as discrimination against marginalized societal groups.

Dr. Claudia R. Schneider received her PhD in Psychology from Columbia University, where she worked at the Centre for Research on Environmental Decisions, the Earth Institute. As an Ivy League Exchange Scholar she furthermore held a graduate research position at Princeton University. She currently works as a Research Associate at the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication and the Cambridge Social Decision-Making Laboratory, University of Cambridge. Her research explores avenues to address society-level social issues, such as climate change mitigation, intergroup conflict, and the balanced and transparent communication of evidence.

Add to your calendar or Include in your list

Wed 15 Jan 15:00: Neurocomputational basis of social learning and decision-making

Mon, 13/01/2020 - 16:05
Neurocomputational basis of social learning and decision-making

The question of whether humans are fundamentally selfish or prosocial has intrigued many disciplines from philosophy to economics for centuries. From small acts of kindness to major sacrifices, just how willing are humans to help others?

Here I will describe a set of studies using computational models of effort-based decision-making and reinforcement learning, in combination with functional neuroimaging, to understand how willing people are to put in effort to help others (prosocial motivation) and how people are able to learn which of their actions help others (prosocial learning). I will then discuss how basic associative learning processes might underlie our tendency to be biased towards self rather than other-related information in terms of ownership.

I will show that in general, people care more about their own outcomes than others, but that there are substantial individual differences that are linked to specific brain areas. Moreover, I will discuss how healthy ageing could be associated with changes in prosociality and therefore the importance of considering prosocial behaviour from a lifespan perspective. Overall, these findings could have important implications for understanding everyday social learning and decision-making and its disruption in disorders of social behaviour such as psychopathy.

Dr. Patricia Lockwood is an MRC Fellow, Junior Research Fellow and Lecturer at the University of Oxford and is staring as a Senior Research Fellow/Associate Professor at the University of Birmingham from summer 2020. Patricia completed her BSc in Psychology and Philosophy at the University of Bristol and her PhD in Biomedical Sciences at University College London. Her research investigates social learning and decision-making across the lifespan and in neurological and psychiatric disorders. She has won several awards for her work including the European Society for Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Young Scientist Award, the Association for Psychological Science Rising Star Award and the Frith Prize for exceptional PhD contributions.

Add to your calendar or Include in your list

Upcoming events