Talks next weeks

It’s not just the network structure that we care about. We want to understand network structure in order to get a handle on processes taking place on networks. That kind of processes is what next week’s two exciting (Monday and Tuesday October 6th and 7th, at 11am @ DTU) talks focus on. Both talks are open to the public, so I hope you’ll join us if you’re in Copenhagen. Full details here:

Cornelia Betsch on Vaccination Decision Making

  • Time: Monday, October 6th, 2014
  • Place: Technical University of Denmark, Building 321, 1st floor Lab Space
  • Title: Vaccination decision making – an individual and social perspective
  • Speaker: Dr. Cornelia Betsch. PD Dr. Cornelia Betsch is research fellow (Akademische Oberrätin) and scientific manager of the Center for Empirical Research in Economics and Behavioral Science (CEREB) at the University of Erfurt, Germany. She serves as a member of the European Technical Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (ETAGE) of the WHO Europe and as a member of the German Commission for the Verification of Measles and Rubella Elimination(Federal Ministry of Health @ Robert Koch Institute).
  • Abstract: The desperate search for a vaccine against Ebola currently reminds us on the merits and value of vaccination. Still, there is a small but critical amount of parents and adults who decide not to vaccinate their children or themselves. They endanger public health goals such as the elimination of diseases like measles or polio. In this talk I will show from the individual perspective what may influence a decision against vaccination. Further, I will analyze the vaccination decision from a structural point of view and show the social perspective of vaccination decision making: as many vaccinated individuals can protect some unvaccinated individuals, it may be rational to forego vaccination and to free ride. Given we know something about how people make vaccination decisions, which strategies should we choose for vaccine advocacy? In the final part of the talk I will give some examples and link them to real-world challenges of vaccine communication.

Jens Koed on Describing the psychology of argumentation

  • Time: Tuesday, October 7th, 2014
  • Place: Technical University of Denmark, Building 321, 1st floor Lab Space
  • Title: Describing the psychology of argumentation, reasoning, and persuasion from a Bayesian perspective
  • Speaker: Jens Koed Madsen (Postdoc @ Birkbeck, University of London)
  • Abstract: Classical psychological models of persuasion and reasoning (Chaiken, 1980; Petty & Cacioppo, 1981) conceptualise rationality from the perspective of formal logical reasoning. Empirically, however, humans do not respond in line with logical predictions, as many fallacious arguments are accepted, and not all valid arguments are accepted. This has led to the conclusion that humans are not rational and to the development of the dual-process theory (consisting of a slow, laboured, and logical and a shallow, heuristic, and non-logical system). Recently, rationality has been recast as reasoning from uncertainty rather than reasoning from certainty from a Bayesian perspective (Oaksford & Chater, 2007). The paradigm has successfully been applied to reasoning (e.g. Oaksford & Chater, 2007), argumentation (e.g. Hahn & Oaksford, 2006; 2007), fallacies (e.g. Corner et al., 2011; Harris et al., 2012), persuasion (Madsen, 2013), and has integrated source credibility in a reasoning framework (Hahn et al., 2009; Harris et al., submitted). I work on three aspects of Bayesian persuasion: the conceptual development of the persuasion model from the thesis (Madsen, 2013), the psychological ontogenesis of probabilistic estimations, and the relationship between individualised approaches to belief changes and behaviour changes. These aspects touch upon the modelling, theoretical foundation, and application of the Bayesian approach developed in the past decade.

Bibliography for Jens’ talk

Chaiken, S. (1980) Heuristic versus systematic information processing and the use of source versus message cues in persuasion, Journal of Personality andSocial Psychology 39, 752-766

Corner, A., Hahn, U. & Oaksford, M. (2011). The psychological mechanism of the slippery slope argument. Journal of Memory & Language, 64, 133-152.

Hahn, U., Harris, A. J. L., & Corner, A. (2009). Argument content and argument source: An exploration. Informal Logic, 29, 337-367.

Hahn, U. & Oaksford, M. (2006a) A Bayesian Approach to Informal Reasoning Fallacies. Synthese 152, 207-23

Hahn, U., & Oaksford, M. (2007a) The rationality of informal argumentation: A Bayesian approach to reasoning fallacies, Psychological Review 114, 704-732

Hahn, U., Oaksford, M., & Harris, A. J. L. (2012). Testimony and argument: A Bayesian perspective. In F. Zenker (Ed.), Bayesian Argumentation (pp. 15-38). Dordrecht: Springer.

Harris, A. J. L., Hahn, U., Madsen, J. K. & Hsu, A. S. (submitted) The Appeal to Expert Opinion: Quantitative support for a Bayesian Network Approach, Cognitive Science, XXX, xxx-xxx

Madsen, J. K. (2013) Prolegomena to a Theory and Model of Persuasion Processing: A Subjective-Probabilistic Interactive Model of Persuasion (SPIMP), unpublished thesis, University College London

Oaksford, M. & Chater, N. (2007) Bayesian Rationality: The probabilistic approach to human reasoning. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Petty, R. E. & Cacioppo, J. T. (1981) Attitudes and persuasion: Classic and contemporary approaches, Boulder, CO: Westview Press