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Department of Psychology

 
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This list is intended to include all talks and seminars taking place in the Department of Psychology and certain related institutions.
Updated: 8 min 44 sec ago

Fri 29 Jan 16:30: The ties that bind: Investigating the links between reward and mimicry to understand autism

Fri, 22/01/2021 - 17:07
The ties that bind: Investigating the links between reward and mimicry to understand autism

Social bonds are vital for well-being. Formation of these bonds involve reciprocal processes such as mimicry, that are active from infancy. In our work, we explore how mimicry is modulated by, and in turn, modulates reward. These bidirectional links between mimicry and reward offer an insight into the mechanism of social bonds, and how these are affected in autism.

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Wed 03 Feb 16:00: Misinformation and the distinct psychologies of believing and sharing

Wed, 20/01/2021 - 19:02
Misinformation and the distinct psychologies of believing and sharing

In this talk, I will present results from an ongoing project where we seek to illuminate the psychology underlying the sharing of misinformation on social media. We do so by combining participants’ answers on longitudinal surveys (including experimental components) and their actual behavior on the social media platform, Twitter. Consistent with recent research, we find evidence that beliefs in misinformation reflect cognitive laziness, which can be alleviated through brief interventions. At the same time, however, those who actually share misinformation on Twitter are more rather than less digitally literate and politically sophisticated. To some extent, they seem to know that – or do not care whether – the stories they share are fake or real. Instead, what drives them is deep animosity towards political opponents. These findings not only shed light on the sentiments that facilitate the circulation of false information but also serve as a warning about using insights about the psychology of beliefs to illuminate the psychology of behavior.

Zoom link: https://www.psychol.cam.ac.uk/study/grads/grads/spss-joining-details.

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Wed 17 Feb 16:00: Quantifying and nudging collective intelligence

Wed, 20/01/2021 - 19:02
Quantifying and nudging collective intelligence

Woolley and colleagues (2010) demonstrated that a group’s ability to work together across a range of tasks could be characterized by a general collective intelligence factor. Since the time of the initial publication of our findings, we have been accumulating data from over 1,300 teams including over 5,000 individuals working on a battery of tasks on our online platform to better quantify the processes that drive collective intelligence. In a related line of research, we have experimented with deploying some low-level bots or “nudges” to help shape team process in the direction of higher collective intelligence. The theoretical implications of the findings of both of these lines of research will be discussed along with what they suggest for how to develop technologies to enhance collective intelligence.

Zoom link: https://www.psychol.cam.ac.uk/study/grads/grads/spss-joining-details.

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Wed 27 Jan 16:00: Narratives shape cognitive representations of immigrants and immigration-policy preferences

Wed, 20/01/2021 - 18:53
Narratives shape cognitive representations of immigrants and immigration-policy preferences

The news and social media are full of characterizations of immigrants, many of which paint them as dangerous. In this research, we asked whether these characterizations impact the beliefs that individuals hold about immigrants and immigration in general. To find out, we engaged a large sample of people residing in the United States and had them read short narratives about fictitious characters who committed minor criminal transgressions, achieved educational or professional goals, or struggled to make ends meet. We found that criminal narratives reinforced racialized immigrant representations. That is, after reading them, participants were more likely to perceive immigrants as white or non-white, regardless of their national origin. In contrast, after reading achievement narratives, participants were more likely to perceive immigrants as more similar to one another. Achievement narratives also increased participants’ support for immigration. These findings speak to the power of stories to influence how people think about immigrants, and how we might use them to attenuate anti-immigrant discrimination. More broadly, our findings indicate that perceptions of immigrants are inherently tied to other social hierarchies, in this case race.

Zoom link: https://www.psychol.cam.ac.uk/study/grads/grads/spss-joining-details.

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Wed 27 Jan 16:00: Narratives shape cognitive representations of immigrants and immigration-policy preferences

Wed, 20/01/2021 - 18:24
Narratives shape cognitive representations of immigrants and immigration-policy preferences

The news and social media are full of characterizations of immigrants, many of which paint them as dangerous. In this research, we asked whether these characterizations impact the beliefs that individuals hold about immigrants and immigration in general. To find out, we engaged a large sample of people residing in the United States and had them read short narratives about fictitious characters who committed minor criminal transgressions, achieved educational or professional goals, or struggled to make ends meet. We found that criminal narratives reinforced racialized immigrant representations. That is, after reading them, participants were more likely to perceive immigrants as white or non-white, regardless of their national origin. In contrast, after reading achievement narratives, participants were more likely to perceive immigrants as more similar to one another. Achievement narratives also increased participants’ support for immigration. These findings speak to the power of stories to influence how people think about immigrants, and how we might use them to attenuate anti-immigrant discrimination. More broadly, our findings indicate that perceptions of immigrants are inherently tied to other social hierarchies, in this case race.

Zoom link: https://www.psychol.cam.ac.uk/study/grads/grads/spss-joining-details.

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Wed 17 Mar 16:00: Do We Report the Information that is Necessary to Give Psychology Away?

Tue, 19/01/2021 - 18:37
Do We Report the Information that is Necessary to Give Psychology Away?

Miss Premachandra will be discussing her paper with Neil Lewis Jr.: Do We Report the Information that is Necessary to Give Psychology Away? A Scoping Review of the Psychological Intervention Literature 2000-2018

Psychologists are spending a considerable amount of time researching and developing interventions, in hopes that our efforts can help to tackle some of society’s pressing problems. Unfortunately, those hopes are often not realized—many interventions are developed and reported in our journals but do not make their way into the broader world they were designed to change. One potential reason for this is that there may be a gap between the information reported in our papers, and the information others, such as practitioners, need to implement our findings. We conducted a scoping review to assess the extent to which the information needed for implementation is reported in psychological intervention papers. Results suggest psychological intervention papers report, at most, 64% of the information needed to implement interventions. We discuss the implications of this for both psychological theories and applying them in the world.

Miss Premachandra is a graduate student in the Department of Communication at Cornell University.

Zoom link: https://www.psychol.cam.ac.uk/study/grads/grads/spss-joining-details.

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Wed 24 Feb 15:00: How we know what not to think (3pm start)

Tue, 19/01/2021 - 18:27
How we know what not to think (3pm start)

In the real world, there is far too much to think about. This is remarkably understudied in laboratory contexts, however, where the study of decision-making is typically limited to small “choice sets” defined by an experimenter. In these contrived cases an individual may devote considerable attention to each item in the choice set. But ordinarily we are often not presented with defined choice sets; rather, we must construct a viable set of alternatives to consider. I will present several recent and ongoing research projects that each aim to understand how humans spontaneously decide what actions to consider—in other words, how we construct choice sets. The main argument is that the kind of value representations relevant to choice set construction differ systematically from those used for choice itself. Additionally, I will present some evidence that moral norms play a surprisingly and uniquely large role in constraining choice sets and, more broadly, in modal cognition (i.e., reasoning about what is possible, likely, or desirable). This suggests a new avenue for understanding how morality influences our thought and behavior.

Dr Cushman is John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University.

Zoom link: https://www.psychol.cam.ac.uk/study/grads/grads/spss-joining-details.

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Thu 22 Apr 12:30: Psychedelics: brain mechanisms

Tue, 19/01/2021 - 16:51
Psychedelics: brain mechanisms

The talk takes a multi-level approach to the question of how psychedelics work in the brain. Key themes include: the pharmacology of classic serotonergic psychedelics, what this tells us about the function and evolutionary purpose of the serotonin 2A receptor, the acute brain effects of psychedelics as determined by functional brain imaging, the entropic brain hypothesis, current evidence for psychedelic therapy, the new ‘REBUS’ hierarchical predictive processing model of the action of psychedelics, and how this maps on to the phenomenology of the acute psychedelic experience and therapeutic outcomes.

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Thu 18 Mar 12:30: A digital revolution for mental health science

Tue, 19/01/2021 - 16:43
A digital revolution for mental health science

Abstract not available

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Thu 04 Mar 12:30: Title to be confirmed Chair: Dr Valerie Voon

Tue, 19/01/2021 - 16:39
Title to be confirmed

Abstract not available

Chair: Dr Valerie Voon

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Thu 11 Feb 12:30: Title to be confirmed Chair: Prof Tasmin Ford

Tue, 19/01/2021 - 16:39
Title to be confirmed

Abstract not available

Chair: Prof Tasmin Ford

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Thu 04 Mar 12:30: Title to be confirmed

Tue, 19/01/2021 - 16:31
Title to be confirmed

Abstract not available

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Thu 20 May 12:30: Title to be confirmed

Tue, 19/01/2021 - 16:30
Title to be confirmed

Abstract not available

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Thu 06 May 12:30: Title to be confirmed

Tue, 19/01/2021 - 16:28
Title to be confirmed

Abstract not available

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Thu 06 May 12:30: Title to be confirmed

Tue, 19/01/2021 - 16:28
Title to be confirmed

Abstract not available

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Thu 29 Apr 12:30: Title to be confirmed

Tue, 19/01/2021 - 16:26
Title to be confirmed

Abstract not available

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Thu 22 Apr 12:30: Psychedelics: brain mechanisms

Tue, 19/01/2021 - 16:25
Psychedelics: brain mechanisms

The talk takes a multi-level approach to the question of how psychedelics work in the brain. Key themes include: the pharmacology of classic serotonergic psychedelics, what this tells us about the function and evolutionary purpose of the serotonin 2A receptor, the acute brain effects of psychedelics as determined by functional brain imaging, the entropic brain hypothesis, current evidence for psychedelic therapy, the new ‘REBUS’ hierarchical predictive processing model of the action of psychedelics, and how this maps on to the phenomenology of the acute psychedelic experience and therapeutic outcomes.

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Thu 15 Apr 16:00: Title to be confirmed

Tue, 19/01/2021 - 16:22
Title to be confirmed

Abstract not available

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Thu 25 Mar 12:30: Neurocognitive Predictors of Depression Relapse

Tue, 19/01/2021 - 16:18
Neurocognitive Predictors of Depression Relapse

The burden of depression is to no small part due to its chronic or recurring nature. As such, the maintenance of any treatment gains is of paramount importance. A key step in this process is the decision to discontinue antidepressant medication. However, at present there are no predictors to indicate who can safely discontinue medication. The AIDA study recruited 123 patients who had remitted on antidepressant medication and were intent on discontinuing their medication. Patients were randomized into two groups. Both groups underwent two extensive assessments involving clinical, behavioural, imaging and biochemical assessments, but one group was tested before and after discontinuing antidepressants, while the other was tested twice before discontinuation. Patients were followed up for 6 months to monitor for relapses. 57 healthy, never-depressed matched controls were recruited. Of 104 patients who completed at least one assessment, 84 completed the study, with 34 relapsing during the follow-up. Amongst standard clinical variables, only treatment by non-specialists was robustly associated with relapse (p=0.005), but did not predict relapse out-of-sample. In contrast, several behavioural (effort-related), psychological (brooding rumination, neuroticism) and imaging (EEG alpha asymmetry and task-related fMRI amygdala activation) variables had predictive power, while resting-state connectivity showed some effects of discontinuation. Overall, relapse after antidepressant discontinuation can be predicted by a number of variables. A combination of these may reach an accuracy sufficient to have clinical relevance.

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