The programme in the winter term 2021/22
November 11, 2021, 12.15:
Kou Murayama (Tübingen): A reward-learning framework of knowledge acquisition: How we can integrate the concepts of curiosity, interest, and intrinsic-extrinsic rewards
Recent years have seen a considerable surge of research on interest-based engagement, examining how and why people are engaged in activities without relying on extrinsic rewards. However, the field of inquiry has been somewhat segregated into three different research traditions which have been developed relatively independently --- research on curiosity, interest, and trait curiosity/interest. The current talk sets out an integrative perspective; the reward-learning framework of knowledge acquisition. This conceptual framework takes on the basic premise of existing reward-learning models of information seeking: that knowledge acquisition serves as an inherent reward, which reinforces people’s information-seeking behavior through a reward-learning process. However, the framework reveals how the knowledge-acquisition process is sustained and boosted over a long period of time in real-life settings, allowing us to integrate the different research traditions within reward-learning models. The framework also characterizes the knowledge-acquisition process with four distinct features that are not present in the reward-learning process with extrinsic rewards --- (1) cumulativeness, (2) selectivity, (3) vulnerability, and (4) under-appreciation. The talk describes some evidence from our lab supporting these claims.
November 29, 2021, time tbd
Alexandra M. Freund (Zürich): tbd
December 9, 2021, 15.00:
Tara Mandalaywala (University of Massachussetts Amherst): A kid's eye view of race and status
By 4 years of age, many children in the United States express awareness of racial stereotypes about social status, often expecting White people to live in nicer houses and have nicer possessions than Black people. Racial stereotypes about status are important because they are hypothesized to lay the foundation for prejudice and discrimination towards minoritized groups. However, little work has examined how racial stereotypes about status develop. In this talk I will describe three studies that examine whether stereotype expression is related to community racial or economic characteristics (Study 1), and ask whether developmental changes in basic cognitive processes might determine whether community characteristics affect stereotype development at all (Studies 2 and 3). The talk will conclude with a discussion of the limitations of current methods, and a call for more inclusive research that explores the development of status cognition across children from a wide range of social and economic backgrounds.