CogSci Colloquium Talk:
Collective Phenomena Emerging from Socio-Cognitive Process

Prof. Madalina Vlasceanu

Assistant Professor of Psychology, New York University

Title: Collective Phenomena Emerging from Socio-Cognitive Process
Date: Wednesday, 16th November 2022
Time: 07:00 pm (IST)
Meeting Link:
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Understanding the dynamics of individual and collective belief structures is a first critical step in tackling one of the top threats faced by contemporary society: the misinformation epidemic. Here, I introduce a theoretical framework for investigating pathways by which beliefs can be influenced in vulnerable communities. For example, at the individual level, beliefs can be targeted leveraging processes such as mnemonic accessibility, emotional arousal, or social norms. At the collective level, beliefs in networked communities are dependent on community members’ social network structure, so targeting beliefs should take into account collective beliefs processes such as synchronization and convergence. Finally, I discuss extensions on this work to other critical challenges facing our society: algorithmic fairness, and the climate crisis.

About the Speaker
Madalina Vlasceanu is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at New York University and director of the Collective Cognition Lab. Her research focuses on the cognitive and social processes that shape individuals’ and collectives’ memories, beliefs, and behaviors, with direct applications for policy. Guided by a theoretical framework of investigation, she employs a large array of methods from behavioral experiments to brain imaging, and social network analysis, to uncover avenues in which science can be applied for social welfare and social change. Madalina obtained a PhD in Psychology and Neuroscience from Princeton University in 2021, an MA in Psychology from Princeton University in 2019, and a BA in Psychology and Economics from the University of Rochester in 2016.