This talk will discuss Kidd’s research about how people come to know what they know. The world is a sea of information too vast for any one person to acquire entirely. How then do people navigate the information overload, and how do their decisions shape their knowledge and beliefs? In this talk, Kidd will discuss research from her lab about the core cognitive systems people use to guide their learning about the world—including attention, curiosity, and metacognition (thinking about thinking). The talk will discuss the evidence that people play an active role in their own learning, starting in infancy and continuing through adulthood. Kidd will explain why we are curious about some things but not others, and how our past experiences and existing knowledge shape our future interests. She will also discuss why people sometimes hold beliefs that are inconsistent with evidence available in the world, and how we might leverage our knowledge of human curiosity and learning to design systems that better support access to truth and reality.
Celeste Kidd (University of California, Berkeley)
Celeste Kidd is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, where her lab investigates learning and belief formation. The Kidd Lab is one of few in the world that combine technologically sophisticated behavioral experiments with computational models in order to broadly understand knowledge acquisition. Her lab employs a range of methods, including eye-tracking and touchscreen testing with human infants, in order to show how learners sample information from their environment and build knowledge gradually over time. Her work has been published in PNAS, Neuron, Psychological Science, Developmental Science, and elsewhere. Her lab has received funding from NSF, DARPA, Google, the Jacobs Foundation, the Human Frontiers Science Program, and the Templeton Foundation. She is a recipient of the American Psychological Science Rising Star designation, the Glushko Dissertation Prize in Cognitive Science, and the Cognitive Science Society Computational Modeling Prize in Perception/Action. Kidd was also named as one of TIME Magazines 2017 Persons of the Year as one of the "Silence Breakers" for her advocacy for better protections for students against sexual misconduct.