Cognitive Science Lunchtime Talk - Madalina Vlasceanu

Thu, Feb 28, 2019, 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
Peretsman Scully Hall - Room 101

Abstract: Systems of beliefs organized around religion, politics, and health constitute the building blocks of human communities. One distinctive feature of these beliefs is their dynamic nature, which is highly dependent on interconnected socio-cognitive processes. In this talk, I will first construct a hierarchical map of different processes that can impact an individual’s belief system. Then, I will explore how some of these processes (e.g., mnemonic accessibility, emotional arousal, and prediction errors) can systematically influence individuals’ beliefs. Finally, I will zoom out and examine the role of conversations on beliefs, with the goal of unveiling how individuals’ belief systems interact to form collective belief systems. These findings point to optimal socio-cognitive strategies for combating misinformation in vulnerable communities.