The Behavioural Science Lab

Welcome to the Behavioural Science Lab!

Below is a list of the fine people who work in the lab, who used to work in the lab, or who work adjacent to the lab.

Inquiries about joining the lab can be sent to: pennycook.behscilab@gmail.com.

Postdoctoral fellows

Hause Lin is a postdoctoral fellow. He studies how people make decisions and likes to find answers to research (and life) questions by using ideas, theories, and data from different sources. He enjoys applying all sorts of models to rich datasets to gain insights into how people think and behave. He is a Twitter ad guru.

Nina Wang is a postdoctoral fellow. She uses techniques from Natural Language Processing to study issues in moral and political psychology. She is interested in the ways moral language is deployed by politicians and surrounding social issues.

Thomas Costello is a postdoctoral fellow. He researches how certain personality traits, thinking styles, and motivations relate to political attitudes and behaviors, especially abnormal phenomena such as violence, extreme partisanship, and authoritarianism.

Graduate students

Christie Newton is a PhD student in the Department of Psychology. She completed her MSc of Organizational Studies at the Levene School of Business. Her research focuses on assessing analytic thinking and understanding how it relates to other behaviour like susceptibility to believing or sharing fake news.

Jabin Binnendyk is a MA student in the Department of Psychology. His research interests stem out of a desire to understand why polarization and self-censorship occur and interventions aimed at alleviating them. This includes areas like partisan bias, discerning/ reducing the effects of “fake news”, and false polarization. In an era of conflict and communication breakdown, how can we bridge these divides?

Alice Sin is a MA student in the Department of Psychology. Her research focuses on thinking styles, overconfidence, and the importance of expertise.

Honours Student(s)

Chelsea Russill is an honours student who is working on a project that investigates the role overconfidence and trust in experts in health-related decisions.

Research Assistant(s)

Puneet Bhargava is a research assistant in the lab. Substantive areas of his interest include perception and decision-making. In his free time, he enjoys physical fitness activities such as yoga, jogging, and weight training.

Lab Alumni

Katie MacDonald was an honours student in the lab in 2021-2022. Her thesis, co-supervised with Christie Newton, was on whether debunking works on TikTok. (Answer: sort of)

Peace Dukuye was an honours student in the lab in 2020-2021. Her thesis, co-supervised with Shadi Beshai, was on the roles of both protective and risk factors for mental health and their (lack of) association with the ability to distinguish between true and false news content about COVID-19.

Jonathon McPhetres was a postdoctoral fellow in the lab from 2019-2020. His research focuses on things such as why people reject science (and some great work specifically on GMO’s) and believe in misinformation. He is also very interested in physiological processes that relate to emotions and the chemical processes associated with reasoning. Jonathon is now an Assistant Professor at Durham University.

Sydney Brogden was a honours student in the lab in 2019-2020. Her research looked into whether source information impacts receptivity to pseudo-profound bullshit.

Eddye Kirk was an honours student in the lab in 2019-2020. Her researched was on whether the illusion of explanatory depth can be used to trigger people to detect fake news.

Shae Sackman was a research assistant in the lab in 2019-2020. Shae is interested in too many things to list, but the intersections of subjective experience and perception and how that interacts with social systems and institutions are a favourite. They are currently working on their Philosophy honours thesis on Hume, personal identity and Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Shehla Ahmad was a co-op research assistant in the summer of 2020. She helped track down fake news for the lab! Shehla is a Masters in Human Resource Management student at the University of Regina.

Friends of the lab & current collaborators

David Rand is the Erwin H. Schell Professor and an Associate Professor of Management Science and Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT Sloan.

Jonathan Fugelsang is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Waterloo.

Derek Koehler is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Waterloo.

Valerie Thompson is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Saskatchewan.

James Allen Cheyne is an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Waterloo (now fully retired). He retains a spot on my website because he is the most interesting person in the world.

Mohsen Mosleh is an Assistant Professor at the University of Exeter Business School.

.

Nathaniel Barr is a Professor of Creativity and Creative Thinking at Sheridan College.

Adam Berinsky is the Mitsui Professor of Political Science at MIT.

Lisa Fazio is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Vanderbilt University.

Laura Scherer is an Assistant Research Professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

Wim De Neys is the CNRS Research Director at the University of Paris.

Nadia Brashier is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Perdue University.

Michal Bialek is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Wroclaw, Poland.

Antonio Alonso Arechar is a Research Scientist at MIT Sloan School of Management.

Bence Bago is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study in Toulouse.

Michael Nicholas Stagnaro is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Stanford University.

Robert Ross is Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at Macquarie University.

Ben Tappin is a Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT Sloan School of Management.

Brian Guay is a Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT Sloan School of Management.

Zivvy Epstein is a PhD student at the MIT Media Lab.

Jennifer Allen is a PhD student at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Cameron Martel is a PhD student at the MIT Sloan School of Management.