Monday, October 16, 2017

Brownbag: Cendri Hutcherson (U of Toronto)

The Social-Personality Colloquium Series (Brownbag) was pleased to feature Dr. Cendri Hutcherson who gave a talk titled: Neurocomputational insights into social decision making, morality, and self-control

For more information, visit Dr. Hutcheson website or contact her directly.

Dr. Cendri Hutcherson

ABSTRACT: Selfish, unethical, and short-sighted decisions lie at the heart of some of society's most pressing problems, but it is unclear why people so often struggle to make good choices. Here, I show how a simple neurally-informed computational model of choice can generate novel insights into a wide range of difficult choices that are thought to depend on self-control, including healthy eating, altruistic choice, proxy decision-making, and moral behavior. The model makes a number of specific predictions, borne out by behavioral, EEG, and fMRI data, about how the brain constructs values for self and others and how such values can promote either success or failure in resisting temptation. It inspires new analytical methods for exploring the dynamics of choice and suggests a need to refine popular competitive dual-system models of choice in light of computational model predictions. Finally, it points to new ways to help people make better choices for themselves and others.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Jorida receives TA Award

Jorida Cila, a PhD student working with Prof. Richard Lalonde, was recently awarded her second Teaching Assistantship Award from the Council of Canadian Departmnets of Psychology in recognition of her teaching skills and effectiveness!

Each year, CCDP presents Awards of Excellence to students nominated from across Canada as outstanding teaching assistants. 

Great work and congrats Jorida!

PhD Student Jorida Cila

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Brownbag: Stephen Want (Ryerson)

The Social-Personality Colloquium Series (Brownbag) was pleased to feature Dr. Stephen Want who gave a talk titled: Is Comparing Ourselves to Other People Mentally Effortful?

For more information, please visit Dr. Want's website or contact him directly.

Dr. Stephen Want
Abstract: We frequently report comparing our abilities, achievements, and appearance with those of other people. But how much mental effort do these comparisons require? One fairly common view is that comparisons are fast and relatively unthinking mental acts, requiring little time or mental effort. In a series of studies, my students and I have tried to test these assumptions by presenting images of thin and attractive models to female undergraduates. Paying sustained attention to such images typically increases unhappiness and decreases the satisfaction that young female undergraduates feel with their own appearance. However, when our participants are mentally preoccupied with other tasks (such as memorizing a complex number) while they look at these images, we find no evidence of these typical detrimental effects. We conclude that perhaps comparisons with other people are actually mentally effortful processes, a viewpoint that has implications for interventions designed to disrupt the influence of thin and attractive media images on young women.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Welcome Back and New Students!

The Social-Personality Area at York University recently held our annual "Welcome Back!" orientation to kick off the fall semester! Our orientation is the first of our colloquium brownbag series every Monday from 12:00-1:30pm.

This year everyone caught up from summer over a wonderful pot luck lunch. Attendees were also entered into random raffle draws for prizes. Special thanks to Dr. Esther Greenclass and Co. for organizing the event.

We also welcomed out new graduate students to the area!

Prof. Greenglass with the new SP graduate students!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Prof. Amy Muise earns prestigious CFI research award, funding

Great news! Our very own Prof. Amy Muise was among five selected from York University for funding from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation's (CFI) to pursue groundbreaking research. 

Funding will be used toward Prof. Muise’s cutting edge, multi-method research that examines the psychological and interpersonal factors that are associated with the maintenance of sexual desire and relationship satisfaction over time in couples’ relationship in the Sexual Health and Relationships Lab (SHaRe) at York University.


Prof. Amy Muise

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Prof. David Wiesenthal retires, earns lifetime award

We bittersweetly announce the retirement of Prof. David Wiesenthal. Prof. Wiesenthal has been at York University for 46 years (since 1970) after earning his Ph.D in social psychology from SUNY-Buffalo.

Prof. Wiesenthal was also recently recognized by the Canadian Association of Road Safety Professionals (CARSP) with their Lifetime Achievement Award for his traffic psychology research, promotion of road safety and service to the organization.

Prof. Wiesenthal's research largely focused on driver stress/stress reduction, driver vengeance/aggression, driver attributional processes, cognitive processes, risk-taking and media influences on risky driving. Throughout the tenure of his career he has been a Visiting Professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and has lectured at theUniversity of Umeå, the University of Stockholm, the University of Linköping, the Swedish Road and Traffic Research Institute, Lund University and the University of Costa Rica. He has also given a series of workshops on traffic psychology for the College of Psychologists (Costa Rica).

We wish you well Prof. Wiesenthal! You will be missed and we thank you for your service.

Prof. Wiesenthal (left) receiving the CARSP Lifetime Achievement Award

Friday, February 17, 2017

Brownbag: Micky Inzlicht (UofT) talks replication crisis

Dr. Michael Inzlicht from the University of Toronto gave a talk to the S/P Area at York U titled "The Replication Crises in Social Psychology: A Personal, First Person Account".

For more information on this topic visit where Micky has blogged extensively on this topic or follow Micky on twitter @minzlicht.

Dr. Michael Inzlicht at York University