Issues in CogSci: Emily O'Leary and Kevin Barry

Issues in CogSci: Emily O'Leary and Kevin Barry


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Kevin Barry:  Inhibited Examination in Problem-solving Caused by Uncontested Truthfulness: A Unifying Conceptual Model

Presentation and framing can have major impacts on human decision-making and problem-solving; however, empirical exploration of those factors has traditionally revolved around static problems, which are often presented using words and numbers. This research aims to expand the exploration of presentation and framing to interactive problems, which are solved by iteratively modifying the problem's representation. As a first step, my goal was to find commonality between diverse, but related, areas of existing research. I present a conceptual model that unifies empirical research of semantic processing, word-based math problems, insight problem-solving, and representational effects, which will serve as a schema for translating specific research questions into experimental methodology. The main implication of this conceptual model is that, when people make counter-normative decisions, it is likely that they are not reasoning with the appropriate information, due to uncontested truthfulness inhibiting the gathering of additional information to reason with. The next step in my research is to apply this model to interactive problem-solving.

Emily O’Leary: Simulating Collective Behavior Using Cognitive Architectures

Accounting for social interaction with cognitive modeling allows for a more nuanced understanding of human cognition due to the complex relationship between individuals and their social environment. Keeping both the context from the social level and the fine-grained details of the individual allows for a rich account of social processes while raising some interesting methodological questions.

I explored this through simulations of tribal war with two tribes of CLARION-based agents and three types of leadership: direct democracy, chiefdom, and tribal council.