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Professor of Social Psychology, University of Southern California
Who do I work with?
With Lynn Miller of the Annenberg School of Communication and several of my graduate students (Aaron Brownstein, Brian M Monroe, and Yang Yu) I am developing a neural network model of personality, based on work on temperament, the Big Five, and the neurobiology of motivation.
Deanah Kim and I are working on neural network models of causal learning.
What do I research?
I have published a book, with Lynn C. Miller entitled Connectionist Models of Social Reasoning and Social Behavior which has been published by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
My central interest is in neural network models of social reasoning and behavior. Among the topics I am studying are:
- Causal reasoning and Impression Formation
- Personality and Social Behavior
- Legal and Everyday Decision-making
- Coherence in Belief Systems, Belief Change
I am also investigating the application of connectionist models to findings on attitude accessibility and the consistency of belief systems, as well as to modeling the learning and application of stereotypes.
A second interest is in the use of interactive media for studying and changing risky social behavior. Our current focus is on using interactive portrayals of sexual encounters in two ways: (1) to study how individuals make decisions in sexual encounters, particularly when intoxicated and/or sexually aroused, and (2) to use the interactive encounters as a semi-realistic environment in which individuals can be taught the cognitive and behavioral skills needed to successfully negotiate a risky sexual encounter.
A third interest is the creation of realistic personality in intelligent agents. With Lynn Miller and a number of students from the Annenberg School of Communication and the Psychology Department, we are working on developing a detailed computational model of personality so that we can create computer based intelligent agents that display realistic, human like personalities. These intelligent agents could play central roles in various virtual reality training systems (think the Holodeck on Star Trek) and in various other kinds of interactions with humans.
See also, Connectionist models of Social Reasoning Group, and Center for the Social Uses of Interactive Media
Links to my research