SBSI Colloquia

Brown Bag and External Speaker Schedule

Beginning with the Fall 2020 semester and moving forward until further notice, all colloquium will be held remotely.

Welcome to the Colloquia Tab! Here, you can find information concerning all past and upcoming Brown Bags. Talks are organized by semester and further by month. You can see the date and time of a talk, the affiliation of the speaker, and the title and abstract of the talk in the tables below. If a talk was recorded, a link to the recording can be found under the date of the talk.

 

Spring 2021 Colloquia

January 2021 - Jackson, Hare
Date Speaker Title/Abstract
January 20, 2021
12:00-1:15pm
Presentation Recording
Joshua Conrad Jackson
PhD Candidate
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
The Cultural Evolution of Moral Cognition
 
Humans constantly infer the morality of those around us, and we use these inferences when we decide whether others are cooperative and trustworthy. Existing data show that inferences of moral character are surprisingly one-dimensional. For example, we assume that good caregivers should also be generous with money, even though caregiving ability and generosity only correlate moderately. Here I lay out a new research program exploring whether these one-dimensional perceptions of morality generalize across cultures and history. Using a cultural evolutionary model of partner choice, I suggest that moral cognition becomes increasingly one-dimensional as societies grow larger and information about interaction partners becomes harder to access and remember. Preliminary computational and survey data support this model, and I outline future behavioral and linguistic studies to build on this early evidence. Our views of moral character may have fundamentally changed across human history, with implications for religion, politics, and group-based conflict.

**Cancelled**

January 27, 2021
12:00-1:15pm
**Cancelled**

**Cancelled**

Brian Hare
Associate Professor, Evolutionary Anthropology
Duke University

Survival of the Friendliest: Convergence in dog, bonobo and human mind

I will present the self-domestication hypothesis for cognitive evolution by examining convergence between dog, bonobo and human psychology, morphology, development and more. Studies of domesticated animals – and in particular dogs – have shown that selection against aggression leads to evolution in social problem solving skills.  Comparisons of bonobos to chimpanzees show that bonobos evolved as a result of self-domestication that similarly shaped bonobo social cognition through selection against aggression. These nonhuman comparisons point to the possibility that humans are also self-domesticated.  I present the first tests of this hypothesis that reveal the centrality of evolution in our cognitive development.  I conclude we are apes that became human by evolving dog-like social psychology. 

     
February 2021 - Helion, Dehghani, Gantman, Amir
Date Speaker Title/Abstract

February 3, 2021
12:00-1:15pm
Presentation Recording

Chelsea Helion
Assistant Professor, Psychology
Temple University

Exercising self-control in moral contexts

Whether it is going to the gym or sticking to that diet, individuals often struggle to meet their goals. This is often due to the difficulty of prioritizing long-term goals over short-term temptations. We posit that everyday moral decision-making functions in much the same way — acting morally often involves a struggle between two opposing forces: a pull toward doing the right thing and a pull toward doing the wrong thing. Across five studies, we examine the relationship between moral values and self-control, finding that individuals underestimate how much regulatory effort moral action requires, that they make more optimistic moral predictions for the self than they do for their peers, and that moralizing a self-control domain (e.g., dieting) may facilitate goal pursuit. These findings suggest a complex relationship between moral values and self-control – individuals underestimate how much self-control acting morally requires, but can also benefit by moralizing self-control domains. 

February 10, 2021
12:00-1:15pm
Presentation Recording

Morteza Dehghani
Associate Professor, Psychology
University of Southern California

Bound in Hatred: Investigating the role of group-based morality in acts of hate

Acts of hate have been used to silence, terrorize, and erase marginalized social groups throughout history. In this work, we investigate the motivations underlying extreme behavioral expressions of prejudice. Specifically, we propose acts of hate may often be best understood as morally motivated behaviors grounded in people’s moral values and perceptions of moral violations. As evidence, we report six studies that integrate natural language processing, spatial modeling, and experimental methods to investigate the relationship between moral values and acts of hate. Our results suggest that moral values oriented around group preservation are disproportionately evoked in hate speech, predictive of the county-level prevalence of hate groups, and associated with the belief that acts of hate against marginalized groups are justified. Additional analyses suggest that the association between group-oriented moral values and hate acts against outgroups can be partly explained by the belief that these groups have done something morally wrong.

February 17, 2021
12:00-1:15pm
Presentation Recording

Ana Gantman
Assistant Professor, Psychology
Brooklyn College (CUNY)

Doesn’t everybody jaywalk? On rules that are seldom followed and selectively enforced

We propose the existence of a subclass of explicitly codified rules—phantom rules—whose violations are frequent, and whose apparent punishability is malleable (e.g., jaywalking). For example, people invoke phantom rules as means to punish others when a pre-existing motivation to punish them (e.g., for a different violation) is active. Across five experiments, (N = 855) we provide evidence for the existence of phantom rules and their motivated enforcement. In Experiments 1, 2a and 2b, participants recognized phantom rule violations as illegal, frequent, and differentiable from violations of both social norms and more prototypical laws. Next, we found that people judge phantom rule violations to be more punishable and legitimate when the phantom rule violator has also violated a social norm (vs. phantom rule alone; Experiment 3)—unless the motivation to punish them has been satiated some other way (Experiment 4). Phantom rules—seldom followed, selectively punished rules—highlight a tension between individual-level moral psychology and systems designed to uniformly enforce rules (i.e., bureaucracies). Implications for examining bureaucratic systems to better understand moral psychology will be discussed.

February 24, 2021
12:00-1:15pm
SBSI Zoom

Dorsa Amir
Postdoc, Cooperation Lab
Boston College

The Development of Decision-Making Across Diverse Cultural Contexts

The human behavioral repertoire is uniquely diverse, with an unmatched flexibility that has allowed our species to flourish in every ecology on the planet. Despite its importance, the roots of this behavioral diversity — and how it manifests across development and contexts — remain largely unexplored. I argue that a full account of human behavior requires a cross-cultural, developmental approach that systematically examines how environmental variability shapes behavioral processes. In this talk, I use the development of decision-making across diverse contexts as a window into the relationship between the socioecological environment and behavior. First, I present the results of a cross-cultural investigation of risk and time preferences among children in India, Argentina, the United States, and the Ecuadorian Amazon, suggesting that market integration and related socioecological shifts lead to the development of more risk-seeking and future-oriented preferences. Second, I present the early results of a five-culture investigation into the ontogeny of social preferences — namely, trustworthiness, forgiveness, and fairness. Taken together, these studies help elucidate the developmental origins of behavioral diversity across cultural contexts, and underscore the utility of cross-cultural research for explaining human behavior.

 

March 2021 - Slepian, Danese, Perry, Thornton
Date Speaker Title/Abstract

March 3, 2021
12:00-1:15pm
SBSI Zoom

Michael Slepian
Associate Professor
Columbia University Business School

Having and Keeping Secrets

Common wisdom suggests that secrecy harms relationships and well-being because active concealment is hard and stressful work. Multiple studies of thousands of participants keeping tens of thousands of secrets reveals otherwise. Examining both the frequency of concealing secrets and the frequency of simply thinking about secrets (outside of concealment contexts) as predictors of well-being reveals that only the frequency of thinking about secrets, not active concealment, predicts lower psychological well-being, with consequences for relationships and health. Motivational and emotional antecedents of thinking about and concealing secrets were also uncovered as well as subsequent attributions that relate to well-being. Whereas instances of concealment can be construed as effective goal pursuit (i.e., successful secret keeping), having secrets intrude upon one’s thoughts is taken as a signal of relational and personal problems, including reduced relationship quality and reduced authenticity. The problem with having secrets is not that we have to hide them, but rather that we have to think about them, and live with them alone in our thoughts without others’ help and perspectives.

March 17, 2021
12:00-1:15pm
SBSI Zoom

Giuseppe Danese
Postdoc, PPE
University of Pennsylvania

TBA

TBA

March 24, 2021
12:00-1:15pm
SBSI Zoom

Sylvia Perry
Assistant Professor, Psychology
Northwestern University

TBA

TBA

March 31, 2021
12:00-1:15pm
SBSI Zoom

Mark Thornton
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Psychological and Brain Sciences
Dartmouth College

TBA

TBA

 

April 2021 - Marshall, Houston, Creary, Yudkin
Date Speaker Title/Abstract

April 7, 2021
12:00-1:15pm
SBSI Zoom

Julia Marshall
Postdoc, Cooperation Lab
Boston College

TBA

TBA

April 14, 2021
12:00-1:15pm
SBSI Zoom

Kassidy Houston
BA Candidate, Psychology
University of Pennsylania

TBA

TBA

April 21, 2021
12:00-1:15pm
SBSI Zoom

Daniel Yudkin
Postdoc, SBSI
University of Pennsylvania

TBA

TBA

April 28, 2021
12:00-1:15pm
SBSI Zoom

Stephanie J. Crear
Assistant Professor, Management
Wharton, University of Pennsylvania

TBA

TBA

 

May 2021 - Dietze
Date Speaker Title/Abstract
May 5, 2021
12:00-1:15pm
SBSI Zoom

Pia Dietze
Postdoc
New York University

TBA

TBA

 

Fall 2020 Colloquia

September 2020 - Cooney, Kobayashi, Heiphetz
Date Speaker Title/Abstract
September 16, 2020
12:00-1:15pm
**This talk was not recorded.**
Gus Cooney
Postdoc, Wharton School
University of Pennsylvania
The Liking Gap and What it Means for Metaperception
 
I will describe a general research program on “the liking gap” – the finding that when developing new social relationships, people underestimate how much others like them. I will present experimental evidence for the liking gap across a variety of circumstances and discuss a number of moderators such as shyness, self-disclosure, and the extent to which people felt isolated during the pandemic. I will also discuss how the liking gap affects groups and teams working together. Finally, I will present evidence for some of the psychological processes that underlie the liking gap, with theoretical implications for the literature on motivated reasoning and metaperception broadly.
September 23, 2020
12:00-1:15pm
Presentation Recording
Kenji Kobayashi
Postdoc, Kable Lab, Psychology
University of Pennsylvania

The Influence of Person Perception on Social Decision Making and Information Seeking

We decide how to interact with others based on how we perceive them. A traditional view posits that person perception is structured along two core dimensions, warmth and competence, which have distinct effects on social decision making (Jenkins et al., 2018), but recent evidence suggests that the warmth dimension contains two dissociable aspects, morality and sociability (Goodwin, 2015). I will present two ongoing studies on how people use information about others to shape perception in service of decision making. First, in a decision context where behavior is influenced by others’ warmth but not competence (Trust game), people are willing to pay more for information that is diagnostic on warmth, irrespective of its diagnosticity on competence. This suggests that people adaptively seek social information based on its benefit for upcoming decisions. Second, among traits associated with warmth, those specifically associated with morality reliably predict behavior across multiple economic games (Trust game and Ultimatum game), demonstrating the importance of morality perception in social decision making.

September 30, 2020
12:00-1:15pm
**This talk was not recorded.**
Larisa Heiphetz
Assistant Professor, Columbia Social and Moral Cognition Lab 
Columbia University

Perceived (Im)morality and Identity

What makes us who we are? Philosophers have long suggested that it’s our memories — if we remembered our lives differently, our entire sense of self might change. This talk considers the extent to which laypeople’s judgments match philosophical theories and what consequences these judgments hold for social perception. In Part I, I discuss data showing that children and adults perceive moral beliefs to be especially central to identity. This is particularly true of widely shared moral beliefs, which are shared with most other people in one’s culture. In Part II, I ask how children and adults think about the identities of people who have violated widely shared moral norms. Here, findings suggest that laypeople, especially children, attribute such behavior (e.g., contact with the justice system, which is often perceived to reflect a violation of widely shared moral norms) to internal “essences.” Such perceptions lead to more negative responses toward people who are perceived to have committed transgressions. When discussing immorality, emphasizing behaviors (“she did something wrong”) as opposed to internal characteristics (“she is a bad person”) may benefit people who have transgressed — which, at some point, will be all of us.

October 2020 - Beltrama, Danese, Jenkins, Silver
Date Speaker Title/Abstract
October 7, 2020
12:00-1:15pm
Presentation Recording

Andrea Beltrama
Postdoc, MindCORE
University of Pennsylvania

We’re what we say. From conversation to person perception.

Since Grice’s (Grice 1975) foundational work, much research in linguistics and psychology has proceeded under the assumption that conversation is a cooperative enterprise — one in which all interlocutors are working together towards attaining an efficient exchange of information, and expect each other to behave in a way conducive to achieving this goal. An outstanding question, however, concerns how listeners rely on conversational behavior to draw social inferences about the speaker — e.g., to evaluate the interlocutors’ behavior in the conversation, and form impressions about them. To address this issue, I present results from two studies exploring how the social evaluation of a speaker is informed by two core dimensions of cooperative communication: Informativeness — i.e., how much information the speaker conveys in the context; and Relevance — i.e., how related the speaker’s utterances are to the conversation topic. Experiment 1 suggests that the social perception of a speaker in terms of both warmth and competence  (Fiske et al. 2007) is severely affected by whether the speaker provides (or fails to provide) relevant information; in addition, speakers providing highly informative responses are rated higher along both social dimensions than those providing less informative ones, but only when their contribution is relevant. Experiment 2 suggests that the social penalty for irrelevant speakers can be mitigated if the speaker provides a reason to justify their decision to veer off the conversational topic; this effect, however, is only observed for competence, but not for warmth. Taken together, our findings suggest that listeners keep track of different properties of linguistic communication when forming an impression of a speaker; and that different dimensions of social evaluation are differentially affected by conversational behavior.

October 14, 2020
12:00-1:15pm
Presentation Recording

Einav Hart
Assistant Professor, Management
George Mason University

The (Better than Expected) Consequences of Asking Sensitive Questions

Within a conversation, individuals balance competing objectives, such as the motive to gather information and the motive to create a favorable impression. Across five experimental studies (N=1,427), we demonstrate that individuals avoid asking sensitive questions because they believe that asking sensitive questions will make their conversational partners uncomfortable and cause them to form negative perceptions. We demonstrate that the aversion to asking sensitive questions is often misguided. Question askers systematically overestimate the impression management and interpersonal costs of asking sensitive questions. In conversations with friends and with strangers and in both face-to-face and computer mediated conversations, respondents formed similarly favorable impressions of conversational partners who asked sensitive questions (e.g., “How much is your salary?”) as they did of conversational partners who asked non-sensitive questions (e.g., “How do you get to work?”). We assert that individuals make a potentially costly mistake when they avoid asking sensitive questions, and may overestimate the interpersonal costs of asking sensitive questions.

October 21, 2020
12:00-1:15pm
**This talk was not recorded.**

Anna Jenkins
Assistant Professor, Psychology
University of Pennsylvania

The uncertain social world and its consequences for decision-making

In order to make decisions, people regularly need to fill in gaps in information. This need may particularly characterize the social world, where much of the information relevant to a decision cannot be perceived directly but must instead be inferred from indirect cues to people’s likely intentions, beliefs, and behaviors (does he want to cooperate? what will she think is fair? where will they be if I can’t find them?). What are the various routes through which the mind reduces this uncertainty, and what consequences do they have for behavior? First, I will present evidence that patterns of brain activation typically thought to support domain-specific processes for social cognition may instead be explained by the greater uncertainty associated with the social world. Next, I will discuss two different routes by which uncertainty in the social world may be reduced and some of their consequences for social decision-making. Specifically, I will discuss evidence that differences in people’s spontaneous imagination of the future on behalf of different social counterparts influence their choices on behalf of those individuals and that information about others’ social group membership can disrupt, rather than facilitate, strategic interactions.

October 28, 2020
12:00-1:15pm
Presentation Recording

Ike Silver
Graduate Student
University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School

Nudging Donors to Nudge Others: Impact messaging increases willingness to share

Whether posting online or speaking face-to-face, people often tell others how and where they spend their money. Such word-of-mouth communication represents a powerful form of social influence, responsible for nearly $10 trillion a year in US consumer spending. Yet when it comes to their charitable donations in particular, people are surprisingly reticent to share. In this presentation, I will explore people’s reluctance to talk about charity and describe a large-scale field experiment (N=80,679) designed to mitigate it. I will argue that, when considering whether to share about the charities they support, people often display influence-neglect. That is, they pay more attention to how the decision to share will impact their reputation than to how sharing might inspire others to join the cause. In line with this account, we find that a simple informational nudge reminding real donors about their ability to influence others increases sharing and downstream recruitment. 

November 2020 - Dahan, Crone
Date Speaker Title/Abstract
November 4, 2020
12:00-1:15pm
**This talk was not recorded.**

Delphine Dahan
Associate Professor, Psychology
University of Pennsylvania

Coordinating Meaning And Understanding as a Collaborative Process

People use language to accomplish things together. To succeed, they must continuously coordinate their actions, including what the speaker means when producing their utterance and what their addressee takes them to mean. Coordination is a complex process because there is no systematic relationship between an utterance and what the speaker means by it. How do speakers choose to formulate their intention and how do their addressees succeed in reaching the same construal? According to current theorizing, people engage in some form of social reasoning by modeling each other’s minds and their mutual beliefs, which lead them to formulate and interpret an utterance based on its estimated utility. In this talk, I will claim that coordination in unscripted conversations involves more than social reasoning. It is achieved through an active process where each partner, recognizing uncertainty in modeling the other’s mutual beliefs, seeks or provides evidence of understanding. I will support this claim with data from unscripted conversations of individuals engaged in goal-oriented tasks.
 

November 11, 2020
12:00-1:15pm
N/A

Veteran’s Day

N/A

November 18, 2020
12:00-1:15pm
**This talk was not recorded.**

Paul Rozin
Professor, Psychology Department
University of Pennsylvania

Naming Framing: What’s in a name (in psychology)?  A lot

This is a very preliminary project in which I examine how naming a finding or idea influences its acceptance and influence on research. Ideally a name is “catchy” and also captures the essence of what is being named. I will primarily use examples from my own research experience, and hope to elicit other examples from my colleagues. 

 
 
December 2020 - Tybur
Date Speaker Title/Abstract
December 2, 2020
12:00-1:15pm
**This talk was not recorded.**

Josh Tybur
Associate Professor, Psychology

VU University, Amsterdam

Behavioral-immune tradeoffs: Interpersonal value relaxes social pathogen avoidance

While providing myriad benefits, humans’ intense sociality also imposes pathogen costs, with any physical social contact risking infection. To mitigate such costs, people avoid contact with those possessing features that have historically been diagnostic of an increased likelihood of infectiousness, such as rashes and sores. However, many infectious individuals are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic, and hence cannot be identified as posing an increased pathogen threat. How do we minimize social infection risks, when any individual could be unknowingly harboring pathogens? Results from three studies suggest that we do not universally minimize such pathogen risks, but rather selectively avoid them as a function of social targets’ interpersonal value to perceivers. That is, people are more comfortable with infection-risky contact with more valued others, be them lovers, friends, acquaintances, or strangers. Findings challenge some assumptions in the behavioral immune system literature, and they might help explain infection transmission within social networks.

Past SBSI Colloquia Series

Fall 2019 Colloquia

September 2019 - Yudkin

Date

Speaker

Title/Abstract

September 18, 2019
12:00-1:15pm
Solomon B50

Daniel Yudkin
Postdoc, SBSI
University of Pennsylvania

Flexible Ethics: On the Activation, Transportation, and Misperception of Moral Values
Abstract

October 2019 - Nave, Yaden, Mullett, Vazire, Rimeikyte

 

Date Speaker Title/Abstract
October 2, 2019
12:00-1:15pm
Solomon B50

Gideon Nave
Assistant Professor, Marketing
University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School

We are what we watch: movie’s contents predict the personality of their social media fans
Abstract

October 9, 2019
12:00-1:15pm
Solomon B50

David Yaden
Graduate Student, Psychology Department
University of Pennsylvania

The Psychology of Philosophy
Abstract

October 16, 2019
12:00-1:15pm
Solomon B50

Timothy Mullet
Assistant Professor, Behavioural Science
University of Warwick, Warwick Business School

Using health and policing data to predict impulsive and harmful behaviours 
Abstract

October 25, 2019
3:30-5:30pm
Levin SAIL (Room 111)

Simine Vazire
Associate Professor, Psychology
University of California, Davis

Do we want to be credible or incredible?
Abstract

October 30, 2019
12:00-1:15pm
Solomon B50

Vaida Rimeikyte
Postdoc, Jenkins Lab
University of Pennsylvania

Neural processing of decision costs and aversive events
Abstract

 

November 2019 - Bhatia, Lelkes, Guan
Date Speaker Title/Abstract
November 6, 2019
12:00-1:15pm
Solomon B50

Nazli Bhatia
Lecturer
University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School

“I was Going to Offer $10,000 but…”:                  The Effects of Phantom Anchors in Negotiation
Abstract

November 13, 2019
12:00-1:15pm
Solomon B50

Yphtach Lelkes
Assistant Professor, Communication
University of Pennsylvania, Annenberg School for Communication

The structure and (an) origin for political beliefs
Abstract

November 20, 2019
12:00-1:15pm
Solomon B50

Kate Guan
Visiting Scholar, Goodwin Lab
University of British Columbia

How do we feel when angels turn out to be demons?: The experience and effects of misjudging moral character
Abstract
December 2019 - Richards
Date Speaker Title/Abstract
December 4, 2019
12:00-1:15pm
Solomon B50

Keana Richards
Graudate Student, HBO Lab
University of Pennsylvania

Gender, preparation, and competitiveness
Abstract

Spring 2020 Colloquia

January 2020 - Skitka, Smith
Date Speaker Title/Abstract

January 22, 2020
12:00-1:30pm
Levin SAIL (Room 111)

Linda Skitka
Professor, Psychology
University of Illinois at Chicago

The Social and Political Implications of Moral Conviction
Abstract

January 29, 2020
12:00-1:15pm
Solomon D37

Kristopher Smith
Postdoc, SBSI
University of Pennsylvania

How exposure to other cultures is changing Hadza cooperation
Abstract

February 2020 - Platt, Zhao, Mattan
Date Speaker Title/Abstract
February 5, 2020
12:00-1:15pm
Solomon D37

Michael Platt
James S. Riepe University Professor, Departments of Neuroscience, Psychology, & Marketing
University of Pennsylvania

Climate Change and the Social Brain

February 12, 2020
12:00-1:15pm
Solomon D37

Joyce Zhao
Graduate Student, Computational Behavioral Science Lab
University of Pennsylvania

Towards a space of behavioral interventions: Insights from the drift diffusion model
Abstract

February 19, 2020
12:00-1:15pm
Solomon D37

Bradley Mattan
Postdoc, Communication Neuroscience Lab
University of Pennsylvania

A multi-method approach to how perceiver gender shapes status-based evaluations
Abstract

 

March 2020 - Mollerstrom
Date Speaker Title/Abstract
March 4, 2020
12:00-1:15pm
Solomon D37

Johanna Mollerstrom
Associate Professor, Economics
George Mason University

Can Simple Advice Eliminate the Gender Gap in Willingness to Compete?
Abstract