Who (and What) Can You Trust? How Non-Verbal Cues Can Predict a Person’s (and a Robot’s) Trustworthiness
People face this predicament all the time—can you determine a person’s character in a single interaction? Can you judge whether someone you just met can be trusted when you have only a few minutes together? And if you can, how do you do it? Using a robot named Nexi, Northeastern University psychology professor David DeSteno and collaborators Cynthia Breazeal from MIT’s Media Lab and Robert Frank and David Pizarro from Cornell University have figured out the answer. The findings will be published in the journal Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
Brain-Computer Interfaces Are Changing the Way We Communicate
APS Fellow Niels Birbaumer, Professor of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology at the University of Tübingen, Germany, studies brain-computer interfaces (BCI). BCIs allow communication from the brain to an external device for patients who otherwise could not communicate through muscle movements to produce speech, gestures, or eye movements. Birbaumer was awarded the Wilhelm Wundt Medal, the Helmholtz Medal as well as honorary doctorates from Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena and Complutense University of Madrid. Watch Niels Birbaumer discuss his research on brain-computer interfaces in this series of interviews.
‘Helicopter Parenting’ Discourages Kids
"Helicopter parent" is a 21st century term for parents that “hover” over their children, monitoring and micromanaging their every move. Although parents may find this hard to do, research shows that giving kids space may better motivate them. According to APS Fellow Carol Dweck, a psychological scientist at Stanford University who researches motivation and development, helicopter parenting is more likely to hold kids back. “We’ve studied parents over-praising and we are studying parents overdoing. It makes the child feel they can’t do anything without the parent.” The bottom line, she says, is that less parenting may help kids more in the long run.
The History of Decision Making
APS Fellow Gerd Gigerenzer is the Director at the Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Germany, where he investigates how humans and other animals make decisions and use cognitive strategies when facing uncertainty. The findings are used in training and informing law students, judges, and mangers. Gigerenzer is also the Director of the Harding Center for Risk Literacy at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Germany. Watch Gerd Gigerenzer discuss his research on human decision making in this series of interviews.
Today’s Spotlight: Robert A. Bjork
Watch APS Past President Robert A. Bjork explain his theory on long-term memory in this series of interviews. Bjork is a Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles. His lab, the Bjork Learning and Forgetting Lab, investigates human learning, memory, and the implications of such research on instruction. Bjork was Co-editor of Psychological Science in the Public Interest. GoCognitive is an educational website supported by the APS Teaching Fund that provides free access to tools on cognitive psychology and neuroscience. GoCognitive has an archive of video interviews of leading researchers in the field, in addition to interactive demonstrations.
BATMAN Gear for the Real World
The United States Air Force is taking a page from an iconic comic. As an intern in the Human Performance Wing at Wright Paterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, psychological scientist Andre Garcia, from George Mason University, worked on the BATMAN team. Though Garcia tends to think of team BATMAN (which stands for Battlefield Air Targeting Man-Aided kNowledge) as being more like Alfred, Batman’s loyal butler who was always there to help the caped crusader with all of his high-tech gizmos.