Lab Activities, Fall 2016

SadFacescreen-shot-2016-12-02-at-7-33-52-pmMondays at 9:30am-whenever: “Individual differences in memory for emotion in faces”, University of Richmond. This is a project looking at how people’s memory for emotion in faces is biased, and how people reconstruct remembered emotions of individual and ensemble faces, both in the same face and in new faces. Our main interests so far are in mathematical modeling of individuals and the influence of viewing history on the memory for sets of faces (ensembles). We are also interested in racial biases, gender biases, and what such a process will tell us about the nature of emotional categories. Obviously this one is a little hard to ‘drop in on’, but if you want to see what we’re up to, please let me know and we’ll skype you in. (current main players: Beth Crawford, Jonathan Corbin, David Landy, osf).

Tuesdays at 5pm: "Discussions about representations and experience in statistics learning”, Psych Town. This is so far entirely conceptual, but focuses around a really cool javascript applet Jingqi made to help people understand variability and means in intro level stats. (current main players: Rob Goldstone, Jingqi Yu, David Landy)

Wednesdays at 9:30am: “Lab meeting”, Psych Town. Okay, you all know about this one.

Wednesdays at 5:15pm: “The psychophysics of the invisible: Energy perception and conception edition”, 10th floor of Eigenmann in the Attari lab. This project is on the conceptual underpinnings and psychophysics of energy perception. We ask people to make relative energy estimates, for instance, like “if you were going to watch a movie, which would use more energy, watching on your TV or your projector?” Interesting answers: “TV, because the light comes out of a much smaller space on the projector” “Projector, because it gets hot”, and “Projector, because the TV has to do a lot more thinking to get the image. The projector is just a light and a fan”. The eventual goal is to better understand how people reason about invisible and inaccessible events, and perhaps to improve how they understand and support energy-related policies and implement conservationist actions in their lives. (Current main players: Shaz Attari, David Landy, Seth Staton, Daniel Lundberg (both excellent masters students in Shaz’s lab). This lab is locked after 5, so if you join, let someone know—we’ll let you in (my phone # is 812-336-4449, and texting works great), .

Thursdays, 1-3pm: “The impact of dynamic algebra on gestures made while teaching”, zoom link and room 3134 in the education building. A large group is building a complex and many-wheeled education experiment with several ’sub-projects’ built in. We will teach pre-service teachers about mistakes kids make with linear functions, using GM or a control interface. Then we measure (a) learning about linear functions, (b) learning about mistakes, and (c) gestures made during mock teaching interactions before and after learning. (Current main players: Erik Jacobson, David Landy, Christian Achgill, and many people from Erik’s lab, osf).


Our big numbers stuff in the ‘news’. Okay, in a French children’s magazine–even better!

Thursdays, 5pm: “Temporal processing of large numbers”, Psych Town. People make speeded number magnitude judgments while we track their mouse movements. The idea is to measure online processing of number magnitudes in the range of ‘millions, billions, and trillions’.  We are nearly ready to start collecting this data.  (Current main players: Tyler Marghetis, David Landy, Cari Maxwell, Mitali Nag, osf)

Fridays, 9am: "Learning outcomes in Online P101″, Psych Town.  We are looking at ways to run learning experiments inside P101–things we can do to potentially make the course better in ways we can measure and control. Most of these are interesting for other reasons, too–for instance, we are currently toying with ways to give people visual representations to help them structure their understandings of flaws in experiments. This touches on questions of the grounding of abstract information in visual characteristics, and so has some overlap with the Tuesday evening meeting. (Current main players: Ben Motz, David Landy, Jingqi Yu).

Fridays, 10:30am: "The psychophysics of the invisible: society and demographics edition", Psych Town.  Okay, this is one project I know most of you know about by now. Currently, we are exploring whether people appear accurate when asked to make ordinal judgments, and whether they are more accurate in their local communities, as well as exploring explicit thanks strategies for reasoning. (Current main players: David Landy, Atrayee Mukherjee, Mitali Nag, David Haussecker, Tyler Marghetis, Brian Guay, Cara Wong, osf).

Fridays, 1:30pm: "The analogical structure of gossip exploration", Psych Town.  We use analogies all the time when we are trying to understand our friends, and when we are trying to make complex life decisions.  But how? And how do we use analogies to support and guide our explorations of uncertain but provocative situations? We are building designs to try to explore this complex cognitive issue. This one builds off of much of Brad’s formal work in analogical uncertainty, but is in a much more appealing wrapper. (Current main players: Brad Rogers, David Landy, Cari Maxwell, Kate Samson, osf coming soon)

Some other activities meet less regularly, or not at all, but are still proceeding. These include:

— Studying of mental representations of large numbers when multiple systems coexist (Rafikh Shaikh, David Landy, Mitali Nag,osf).

— Graspable math!!!!  But we only meet every other week, on Mondays at 1:30. Let us know if you want to join in.

Whew. This made me tired just to write. That said, it leaves a lot out. Tyler, Brad, Rob, other people–please send me additions!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.