New Faculty: Gordon Pennycook

Gordon Pennycook,

Associate Professor, Psychology, Himan Brown Faculty Fellow

Academic focus:

I do research at the intersection of cognitive and social psychology, with a particular focus on why we make errors during reasoning and what explains why we believe what we believe.

Current research project:

Over the last few years, I have dedicated the most time to understanding and combatting misinformation. We're working on a paper now that includes two large digital field experiments carried out on Twitter and Facebook that tested the efficacy of simply low-cost and scalable interventions against misinformation. Our simplified conclusion is that subtle ads that remind people to think about accuracy have a modest effect on improving the quality of content that people share.

Previous positions:

  • Associate Professor, Hill/Levene Schools of Business, University of Regina, Canada, 2022-2023
  • Assistant Professor, Hill/Levene Schools of Business, University of Regina, Canada, 2018-2022
  • Banting Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Psychology, Yale University, 2016-2018 

Academic background:

  • Ph.D., Cognitive psychology, University of Waterloo, 2016
  • M.A., Cognitive psychology, University of Waterloo, 2011
  • B.A., Psychology, University of Saskatchewan, 2009

Last book read:

“Foundation” by Isaac Asimov

In your own time/when not working:

Playing with my kids, bingeing both good and bad T.V. with my partner, playing hockey ("ice hockey" as it's known outside of Canada), playing very nerdy video games

Courses you’re most looking forward to teaching:

Despite it being a key focus of mine, I have never taught a course dedicated to the psychology of misinformation - I'm looking forward to that!

What most excites you about Cornell:

I'm looking forward to working with a diverse group of talented people from a variety of academic backgrounds on topics that I think are important! What could be better?

Twitter handle:

@gordpennycook

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