How humans figure out what's true in a complex and uncertain world

Dr Stephen Dewitt

Wednesday, February 19 2020 at 8:00PM

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Dr Stephen Dewitt

What's the talk about?

Humans make judgements and decisions of staggering sophistication every day, and routinely solve problems entirely unachievable by modern AI. There is a popular trend to see humans as biased reasoners, but this is only half the picture. This talk will present modern psychological understanding of how humans incorporate their vast banks of knowledge about how the world works and what is already true, with new information to form new beliefs. We will see how this ability allows people to make huge leaps of inference from very limited information, but also how this double edged sword can lead to the most notorious biases such as confirmation bias. It ends with some ideas on how the power of human intuition can be harnessed while minimising bias.

Dr Stephen Dewitt is a teaching fellow at University College London. His PhD and current research focuses on how humans update their beliefs in light of new information, and how they handle uncertainty and complexity when reasoning about the world.  


£5 on the door