2018-19 Colloquium Schedule

All colloquiums will be held from 12-1pm. Check event details for location as it will vary.

Speaker: Kathy Hirsh-Pasek – Lefkowitz Faculty Fellow, Temple University & Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution

Location: WGR 311

Title: Living in Pasteur’s Quadrant: Navigating the Uncharted Waters between Basic and Applied Research

Abstract: How can social scientists balance the need to do basic science with a desire to be relevant to the questions and issues of their time? In his classic book, Pasteur’s Quadrant, Daniel Stokes proposes an answer. Cross-cutting two dimensions – a quest for understanding and considerations of use, Stokes offers 4 quadrants that capture the areas of scientific progress. This talk signals a migration towards Pasteur’s quadrant, that exemplifies what Stokes called use-inspiredbasic research. Using data from the science of learning and early development, I offer examples of how my work in language, and literacy fits neatly within this quadrant. I also question how, in a world filled with social media and distorted messages about our science, more of us can entertain working in Pasteur’s Quadrant, while also jumping beyond use-inspired work to take dissemination of science seriously. It is imperative that our institutions learn to share our science in a way that preserves its integrity while increasing its utility for the wider community?

Faculty host: Ian Lyons

Find this event on the GU Events page.

Speaker: Peter Mende-Siedlecki – Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Delaware

Location: WGR 201A

Title: Perceptual Contributions to Racial Bias in Pain Recognition and Treatment

Abstract: The physical pain of Black Americans is systematically under-diagnosed and under-treated, compared to the pain of Whites. While other work has examined social-cognitive factors driving such biases (e.g., explicit stereotypes about and prejudice towards Black Americans), we tested whether racial bias in pain care stems from a perceptual source, as well. Across a series of experiments using a novel stimulus set, White participants consistently showed more stringent thresholds for recognizing pain on Black faces, versus White faces. This bias was indeed perceptual in nature — arising from disruptions in configural face processing — and could not be explained by differences in low-level stimulus features (e.g., luminance, contrast), or subjective evaluations related to pain (e.g., masculinity, dominance). We even observed biased pain perception when facial structure and expression intensity were objectively equated across digitally-rendered Black and White targets. Moreover, we examined how bottom-up and top-down influences shape biases in pain perception and treatment. We observed that darker skin tones yielded more stringent thresholds for perceiving pain independent of race, and further, that Afrocentric structural features exacerbated racial bias in pain perception. Further, both gender and status interacted with race to shape pain perception: the most lenient thresholds for pain perception were observed for White male and high status White targets, respectively. Critically, across all experiments, we repeatedly observed that bias in perception predicted subsequent bias in treatment, over and above explicit prejudice and stereotypes. These data illuminate the perceptual underpinnings of disparities in pain care and can inform new interventions to bridge those gaps.

Faculty Host: Adam Green

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Speaker: Jeremy Yip – Assistant Professor of Management at McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University

Location: WGR 411

Title: Trash-talking: Competitive incivility motivates rivalry, performance, and unethical behavior

Abstract:Trash-talking increases the psychological stakes of competition and motivates targets to outperform their opponents. In Studies 1 and 2, participants in a competition who were targets of trash-talking outperformed participants who faced the same economic incentives, but were not targets of trash-talking. Perceptions of rivalry mediate the relationship between trash-talking and effort-based performance. In Study 3, we find that targets of trash-talking were particularly motivated to punish their opponents and see them lose. In Study 4, we identify a boundary condition, and show that trash-talking increases effort in competitive interactions, but incivility decreases effort in cooperative interactions. In Study 5, we find that targets of trash-talking were more likely to cheat in a competition than were participants who received neutral messages. In Study 6, we demonstrate that trash-talking harms performance when the performance task involves creativity. Taken together, our findings reveal that trash-talking is a common workplace behavior that can foster rivalry and motivate both constructive and destructive behavior.

Faculty Host: Abigail Marsh

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Speaker: Muniba Saleem – Assistant Professor of Communication, University of Michigan Ann Arbor

Location: WGR 411

Title: The Role of Media in Deteriorating American and Muslim Relations

Abstract:The role of media in influencing intergroup relations has often been speculated. Yet, there is limited empirical work systematically examining how media can influence the relations between majority and minority groups. In the current research, I examine how reliance on media for information about Muslims increases non-Muslim Americans’ perceptions of Muslims as aggressive, negative emotions towards Muslims, and support for public policies harming Muslims internationally and domestically. For Muslims themselves, negative representations of Muslims in mainstream media distances young Muslim Americans from the American national identity and trust in its political institutions. At the same time, such exposure can motivate young Muslim Americans to seek collective actions to improve the status and position of Muslims in America. These relations are examined across cross-sectional, experimental, and longitudinal data providing evidence for short and long-term effects.

Faculty Host: Fathali Moghaddam

Speaker: Linda Tropp – Professor of Social Psychology, University of Massachusetts Amherst; Faculty Associate School of Public Policy

Location WGR 405

Title: Reweaving the Social Fabric: How Contact and Diversity Shape Relations among Immigrants and the U.S. Born

Abstract: This talk will summarize findings from a multi-disciplinary survey study that examines how societal diversity and intergroup contact shape trust and welcoming among members of U.S.-born groups (whites and blacks) and immigrant groups (first-generation Mexicans and Indians) residing in the Atlanta and Philadelphia metropolitan areas.

Faculty Host: Fathali Moghaddam

Speaker: Heather Kirkorian – Associate Professor & Laura M. Secord Chair in Early Childhood Development, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Location TBD

Title: Watching TV Through Toddlers’ Eyes

Abstract: TBD

Faculty Host: Rachel Barr

Speaker: Sandra Calvert – Professor, Department of Psychology, Georgetown University

Location TBD

Title: Media Characters as Early Math Teachers: The Age of Intelligent Characters

Abstract: In the 21st century, media characters cross many platforms and take on many physical and virtual forms, from physical toys to onscreen intelligent agents. Children’s involvement with media characters occurs through parasocial interactions, in which children talk to characters, and parasocial relationships, in which children form one-way emotionally close relationships with characters. In this talk, Dr. Sandra Calvert examines how young children’s parasocial experiences with transmedia characters, including a prototype of an intelligent character, lead to better learning of math skills. Educational implications are considered.

Speaker: Lauren Kenworthy – Director, Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Children’s National Health System

Location WGR 206

Title: Improving Executive Functions in Autism: Key Principles and Empirical Findings

Abstract: This talk will make, and empirically support, the following arguments:

  1. Executive Function (EF) is fractionated, plastic and controls the regulation of cognition, behavior and emotion (hot and cool)
  2. EF is necessary for social, adaptive and academic functioning
  3. EF may offer a more precise target for treatment than diagnosis (RDoC)
  4. EF is globally impaired in ASD, but Flexibility, Organization and Planning/Working Memory problems predominate 5. EF is best treated in everyday settings, following accommodations, using self-regulatory words and routines

Faculty Host: Chandan Vaidya