06 Oct 2022
17:00  - 18:00


Colloquium / Aaron Benjamin

The metacognition of participation

Aaron Benjamin, Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Abstract: The applied science of cognition often takes the classroom as a model situation. In a classroom, students play only a small role in choosing learning activities, and those activities are shared across students with a wide spectrum of abilities and interests. In most other arenas in life, the cognitive activities in which we participate are ones for which we volunteer, and in which we play the major role in scheduling our work and deciding when we quit. In this talk, I explore the consequences of self-selection on a wide variety of cognitive activities. Choice over participation affects the interpretation of group data, the extent to which individuals benefit from cognitively enhancing events like memory tests, how crowd wisdom can be harnessed, and how artificial agents can be designed to have fruitful interactions with human users. I hope to convince you that questions of participation should be front and center in any applied science of cognition.

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