Gordon Pennycook

Associate Professor and Himan Brown Faculty Fellow

Research Focus

My research focus is on reasoning and decision-making, broadly defined. I investigate the distinction between intuitive processes (“gut feelings”) and more deliberative (“analytic”) reasoning processes and am principally interested in the causes (a) and consequences (b) of analytic thinking. That is, what makes us think and why is it (thinking) important? This is critical to understand if we’re ever to find better ways to make decisions. Alas, a lot of our problems as a species come from errors that we make during reasoning and decision-making – from global warming to health issues (including, but not limited to, the spread of pandemics) to political polarization and misinformation – and, thus, understanding why people make these errors is a major focus of mine. A recent review of my theoretical perspective and much of my research can be found here.

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PSYCH Courses - Spring 2024