Cognition in (social) context: A social-interactionist approach to emergent phenomena – Dr Alin Coman (Princeton)

December 1, 2021 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
via zoom
David Young

The development of shared memories is a critical characteristic of human communities. From small groups such as families to large ones such as nations, communities form collective memories of past events that often impact their identities and behaviors. This emergent outcome (i.e., shared memories) is thought to occur owing to a dynamic system of information sharing and memory updating, which fundamentally depends on communication. In this talk, I will present a research program to study how communities dynamically form these collective memories. Using experiments that involve conversational interactions in social networks, I will show how large-scale social phenomena (i.e., collective memory) can emerge out of microlevel local dynamics (i.e., mnemonic reinforcement and suppression effects). The social-interactionist research program proposed herein offers a framework for measuring and forging collective-level outcomes in communities of individuals.

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