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Life Around the Digital Watercooler: Forming Accurate Impressions of Others in the Era of Social Media, Fake News, & Gossip

Thu, February 10th, 2022
4:15 pm
- 5:30 pm

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This will be a hybrid event. The campus community is welcome to attend in person (Bronfman Auditorium in the Wachenheim Science Center) or remotely. Open to the public remotely. Please click the link below if you wish to join the webinar:
https://williams.zoom.us/j/96924583424?pwd=RlN2RDErVUxmRXRQK0V5RFFVVnJ5QT09

The digital age affords us exposure to a staggering amount of information—not all of it true. Indeed, we now find ourselves exposed to more information—and perhaps more apocryphal information—than at any time in history. In this talk, I’ll explore the implications of this fact for how we form and update our impressions of others. I’ll examine, in particular, how implicit evaluations—that is, those that are spontaneous, unintentional, and relatively automatic—are affected by the truth value of new evidence we learn about someone. We’ll explore how our mere exposure to questionable information or fake news can shape these kinds of impressions and whether we can successfully correct for the implicit influence of misinformation under some circumstances.

Jeremy Cone is an Associate Professor of Psychology.  He received his Ph.D in Social Psychology from Cornell University in 2012. He spent a year as a visiting assistant professor at Williams in 2012-2013, followed by a post-doc in the Human Cooperation Lab at Yale University from 2013-2015. He rejoined the faculty at Williams as an assistant professor in 2015. His research focuses on understanding the nature and operation of implicit processes, including especially implicit attitude change.

The Faculty Lecture Series aims to present big ideas beyond disciplinary boundaries. Organized by the faculty members of the Lecture Committee, the Faculty Lecture Series was founded in 1911 by Catherine Mariotti Pratt, the spouse of a faculty member who wanted to “relieve the tedium of long New England winters with an opportunity to hear Williams professors talk about issues that really mattered to them.” From these humble and lighthearted beginnings, the Faculty Lecture Series has grown to become an important forum for tenured professors to share their latest research with the larger intellectual community of the college.

The full spring 2022 series is listed below:

Feb 10: Jeremy Cone
Feb 17:  Nick Howe
Feb 24: Nelly Rosario
Mar 3: Li Yu
Mar 10: Tim Lebestky
Mar 17: Lama Nassif

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