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Intuition, Reason, and Social Media

June 20 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

Contrary to the narrative that social media algorithms impact cognition, our research shows that people can and do override their intuitions and that reasoning often facilitates accurate belief formation. Although social media may impact what is salient to us when making choices about what to share with others, this is not intractable: Simple prompts that remind people to think about accuracy are sufficient to increase the quality of the news content that people share. This indicates that unreasonable behavior on social media is more a function of lazy thinking than of an inability for people to overcome social media algorithms.


June 20
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
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Gordon Pennycook
Gordon Pennycook is an Assistant Professor at the University of Regina's Hill/Levene Schools of Business. His expertise is human reasoning and decision-making, with a particular focus on the distinction between intuitive processes and more deliberative reasoning processes. He obtained his B.A. in Psychology in 2009 from the University of Saskatchewan and his PhD in Cognitive Psychology in 2016 at the University of Waterloo. Prior to starting at the University Regina in 2018, he held a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship at Yale University. He has published over 75 peer-reviewed articles, including in journals such as Nature, Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Nature Human Behavior, Trends in Cognitive Science, Psychological Science, and Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.