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    Thomas D. Gilovich elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The American Academy of Arts and Sciences today announced the election of 220 new members, continuing a 230-plus year history of recognizing some of the world’s most accomplished scholars, scientists, writers, artists, and civic, corporate, and philanthropic leaders.
          Among the new members of the 2012 class is Cornell Professor Thomas D. Gilovich. Gilovich has been a member of the faculty of the Department of Psychology since 1981. His research includes decision making and behavioral economics and he is author of popular books on these subjects.
          One of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies, the Academy is also a leading center for independent policy research. Members contribute to Academy publications and studies of science and technology policy, energy and global security, social policy and American institutions, the humanities and culture, and education.
          “Election to the Academy is both an honor for extraordinary accomplishment and a call to serve,” said Academy President Leslie C. Berlowitz. “We look forward to drawing on the knowledge and expertise of these distinguished men and women to advance solutions to the pressing policy challenges of the day.”

    A complete list of newly elected members can be found in the link below.
  • Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2012

    Ulric Neisser is Dead at 83; Reshaped Study of the Mind
  • See the New York Times obituary, and the Cornell News Service story.
  • Posted: Saturday, March 3, 2012

    Ulric Neisser Obituary from the Ithaca Journal 2/18/2012
  • Professor Ulric Neisser, 83, of Trumansburg, died Friday, February 17, 2012. Friends may call on Sunday, February 19, 2012 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Bangs Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Southern Poverty Law Center,, or to a local food bank. A complete obituary will appear at a future date.
  • Posted: Friday, February 24, 2012

    John Cleese explains Dunning research
  • In a video released on the Monty Python channel of YouTube, "John Cleese Carefully Considers Your Futile Comments," Provost's Visiting Professor John Cleese of Cornell cites the research of Professor David Dunning as explanation of why "very very stupid people don't realize that they are very very stupid." Beginning at 3 minutes 30 seconds into the video, Cleese provides a rather spot-on synopsis of the work known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect.
  • Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2012

    Professor Shimon Edelman releases a new book on happiness
  • Publisher Basic Books says, "In The Happiness of Pursuit, cognition expert Shimon Edelman draws on philosophy, literature, and brain science to argue that we can use our best understanding of the mind to increase our chances of being happy. Viewed through his lens, happiness isn’t a program we fulfill or a destination we reach, but a continuous journey."
          In honor of the release, Edelman will participate in a Meet the Author event at the Cornell Store on February 20, 2012, and a reading at Buffalo Street Books in Ithaca from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. on March 8, 2012.
  • Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2012

    Size matters: Length of songbirds’ playlists linked to relative size of their brain parts
  • Graduate student Jordan Moore and Professor Timothy J. DeVoogd's paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports on their research findings that songbirds whose higher brain areas are larger in relation to lower brain areas have a greater capacity for learning songs.
          DeVoogd spoke with Krishna Ramanujan for an article published in the Cornell Chronicle.
  • Posted: Thursday, September 22, 2011

    Christiansen disseminates sound symbolism research
  • Professor Morten Christiansen and his work on sound symbolism--the degree to which the sound of a word can tell a listener something about what it means--have been highly visible this summer.
          The current issue of Journal of Experimental Psychology: General features a new paper co-authored by Christiansen on the division of labor between sound symbolic systematicity and arbitrariness in words. According to Christiansen, "The paper contains computational modeling, human experimentation, and corpus analyses, showing that both play separate but important roles in language learning."
          An article in the July 2011 New Scientist cites Christiansen while placing sound symbolism in an evolutionary context.
          And Christiansen organized a symposium on the possible role of sound symbolism in language acquisition on July 21, 2011, during the 12th International Congress for the Study of Language in Montreal. The event brought together panelists from around the world, and attendance was standing room only.
  • Posted: Wednesday, August 10, 2011

    Advice about your money from Tom Gilovich on blog
  • Following up on his best-selling personal finance book, ‘Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes,’ Professor Tom Gilovich and co-author Gary Belsky are now blogging about economic issues for
  • Posted: Thursday, June 23, 2011

    Psychologist ponders perceived and virtual reality vs. ‘real’ reality
  • Professor Shimon Edelman's survey of work on the question of perceived reality was published in the journal, Frontiers in Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, and he talked with George Lowery of the Cornell News Service about the ideas behind the paper.
  • Posted: Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    Psychology class video salutes Cornell
  • Two students from Prof. James Cutting's Psychology 3050 course, Visual Perception, collaborated on a video tribute to Cornell which can be viewed on YouTube. The work, entitled This Is, was created by Jon Tai '11, who took the course in 2010, and Alex Silver '11, who submitted the video as his final project for the Spring 2011 semester.
  • Posted: Friday, May 20, 2011

    Psychology graduate students awarded NSF Fellowships
  • Two graduate students in the Field of Psychology recently have been awarded the National Science Foundation's prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship.
          Lily Jampol will be working on research concerning The Feeling of Freedom. She describes it as follows: "The goal of this project is to shed light on why Americans are so averse to restrictions of their perceived freedom of choice. Part of the answer may lie in the grounded nature of the term "freedom": this aversion may be embodied in our negative physical associations with the feeling of constraint."
          Amit Kumar's award from his proposal entitled, Hey, Remember that Time? Telling Stories Affects Experiences but Not Material Goods, will allow him to explore the importance of storytelling in everyday life. He believes that people's level of enjoyment of experiences (a trip to Rome, dining at a favorite restaurant, taking in a concert) depends, in part, on being able to talk about them. Kumar explains, "the research seeks to demonstrate that this may be one reason why these kinds of experiential purchases tend to make us happier than material purchases (new shoes, a flat-screen television, an updated mp3 player)."
  • Posted: Monday, April 25, 2011

    Understanding ‘Ba Ba Ba’ as a Key to Development
  • Assistant Professor of Psychology Michael H. Goldstein was extensively quoted in The New York Times' "18 and Under" column by pediatrician Perri Klass, published on October 11, 2010. The column remained in the top 25 on the list of "Articles Most Frequently E-mailed by Readers" during the 30 day period following its publication.
        Prof. Goldstein will join Dr. Klass on her show on Doctor Radio – a channel on Sirius and XM Satellite radios – on Wednesday, October 27, 2010, from 10:00 to 11:00 am (Eastern time) to discuss the importance of babbling in language development.
  • Posted: Friday, October 22, 2010

    CNN asks, ‘Can money buy happiness?’
  • Professor and Department Chair of Psychology Thomas D. Gilovich was interviewed about his research by CNN's Kiran Chetry for the "American Morning" show on August 10, 2010. The four-minute segment, in which Gilovich talks about the impact of spending on 'experiences' rather than 'possessions' to provide long-term satisfaction is available for viewing on CNN's "amFIX" blog.
  • Posted: Thursday, October 21, 2010

    Christiansen selected as keynote speaker and Distinguished Visiting Professor
  • Morten H. Christiansen was a keynote speaker at the 16th Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing Conference held in York, UK, from September 6 to 8, 2010. Christiansen, who was promoted to full Professor of Psychology on July 1st, also will be traveling to Iowa City from October 11 to 15, 2010, as an Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Iowa.
  • Posted: Tuesday, September 7, 2010

    Dunning-Kruger Effect inspires New York Times online column
  • Prof. David Dunning provided the framework for a five-part series by writer and filmmaker Errol Morris which appeared in "The Opinionator: Exclusive Online Commentary from the Times" between June 20 and June 24, 2010. Titled "The Anosognosic’s Dilemma: Something’s Wrong but You’ll Never Know What It Is," Morris' blog used the researchers' idea that our incompetence actually masks our ability to recognize our incompetence, as a springboard for the series. Morris included extensive transcription of interviews and communication with Dunning.
  • Posted: Sunday, August 15, 2010

    Dunning shares insight on cynicism and trust
  • Prof. David Dunning was consulted for a "Shortcuts" column in the "Your Money" section of The New York Times. Writing about the constant pull between gullibility and cynicism, Alina Tugend interviewed Dunning about his research, and the interesting findings on how much trust people put in others.
  • Posted: Tuesday, June 15, 2010

    Psychologists explain Iraq airstrike video
  • Prof. David Dunning was interviewed by New York Times reporter Benedict Carey about the psychological context of a military video released in April 2010. The video documented a 2007 U.S. Army Apache helicopter assault on people on a street in Baghdad.
  • Posted: Wednesday, June 9, 2010

    Are cell phones annoying? Cornell study says yes!
  • Cornell Psychology graduate student Lauren Emberson and her co-authors, including Prof. Michael Goldstein, have been getting lots of media attention about their upcoming paper in Psychological Science. Their study may explain why overheard cell phone conversations are more distracting, and irritating, than listening to two people in conversation. The researchers found that people are distracted from overhearing half of a conversation-a halfalogue-but not overhearing both sides of a conversation. Listeners actively try to predict the succession of speech, and being unable to confirm the predictions about the unheard half of the conversation makes it impossible for the brain to disengage from the task. According to Goldstein, some of the practical implications include the fact that it may be even more distracting to a driver if one of his passengers is talking on a cell phone than if he himself is on the phone.
    WSYR-TV News
    Reuters News Service
    Schott's Vocab Blog The New York Times
  • Posted: Friday, May 21, 2010

    Morten Christiansen honored by Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
  • Professor Morten H. Christiansen was chosen to deliver the 2009 Nijmegen Lectures at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, the Netherlands, from December 7 to 9, 2009. The series, entitled "Understanding Language across Multiple Time-Scales: Evolution, Acquisition and Processing," was comprised of daily public lectures by Christiansen, each followed by panel discussions regarding his work.
  • Posted: Monday, May 17, 2010

    Morten Christiansen to present plenary address at EVOLANG 8 conference
  • Utrecht University, the Netherlands, will host the 8th International conference on the Evolution of Language from April 14 to 17, 2010. Associate Professor of Psychology Morten H. Christiansen, one of eight Plenary Speakers at the conference, will address participants on the subject of "Brains, Genes and Language Evolution."
  • Posted: Monday, March 22, 2010

    David Pizarro invited as panelist for Walter Gordon Massey Symposium on Public Policy
  • Assistant Professor of Psychology David Pizarro will speak at a public Symposium on March 16, 2010, as part of the 16th Annual Gordon Symposium on Public Policy in Toronto, Ontario. Hosted by Massey College and the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto, the event is intended to provide influential members of the policy community with an opportunity to meet and discuss a topic of immediate Canadian significance with a panel of experts. This year's session is dedicated to the relationship between emotions and public policy.
        In conjunction with the event, Pizarro was asked to provide an Op-Ed article for the March 16, 2010, edition of The Globe and Mail and was interviewed for CBC/Radio-Canada.
  • Posted: Tuesday, March 16, 2010

    Bringing new understanding to the director's cut
  • Professor James Cutting's publication in Psychological Sciences about how movie pacing is increasingly corresponding to the natural rhythm of the brain, was reported on in an article by Natalie Angier in the Science section of The New York Times on March 1, 2010.
  • Posted: Monday, March 8, 2010

    Prof. investigates the mysteries behind language and the brain
  • An article by Jade Tabony in the Science section of The Cornell Daily Sun on February 24, 2010, reports on a seminar given by Associate Professor Morten Christiansen. Christiansen posed the question, "Did language shape the human brain or did our brain shape human language?" in a Cornell Cognitive Science Colloquium on February 19, 2010.
  • Posted: Monday, March 1, 2010

    Podcast of Prof. Morten Christiansen's presentation at Language Learning anniversary celebration available online
  • In celebration of the 60th anniversary of the international journal Language Learning , the publishers hosted a conference, “Language as a Complex Adaptive System,” at the University of Michigan from November 7–9, 2008. Morten Christiansen from the Cornell Department of Psychology was among the leading researchers in linguistics, psychology, and complex systems invited to discuss this perspective. His talk entitled "A Usage-Based Approach to Recursion," was one of the main presentations at the conference and is available on the Wiley site as a free download podcast.
  • Posted: Tuesday, October 20, 2009

    Silky Sifaka conservation and research efforts spearheaded by Cornell Psychology Doctoral Student
  • Ph.D. candidate Erik Patel's work with the highly-endangered silky sifaka lemur has gotten some important media attention in August 2009.
    The animals are featured in an article in National Geographic magazine, and in a documentary called "Angels of the Forest," directed by Sharon Pieczenik for The Research Channel, which can be viewed here.
  • Posted: Sunday, August 2, 2009