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Beharkis Hall


  • Alumni
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A Room With a Cue: The Expression and Perception of Personality in Everyday Contexts

Monday, April 22, 2013

6:00 PM-7:00 PM

Dr. Sam Gosling from UT Austin will be speaking on April 22nd from 6-7pm with a reception to follow in  Beharkis Hall .
Most social interactions are influenced by perceptions of what others are like—can I trust this person? Is he strategically holding back information or merely introverted? Is she likely to be sensitive to what could go wrong in this situation or what could go right? Is he likely to respond favorably to familiar solutions or prefer novel innovative options? Few daily interactions are conducted in vacuum. As a result, we are constantly using contextual information—often without realizing it—to form impressions of others. But what information do the contexts of contemporary interactions convey? How do our living rooms, bedrooms, offices, music collections, and Facebook profiles reflect what we are like and, more fundamentally, who we are? We are so tightly bound to the spaces that surround us that many of the connections linking people and places go unnoticed. But these environments are rich with information about our values, attitudes, preferences, and personalities. Some clues (e.g., the Obama poster on the office wall or the high-brow books left casually lying on the coffee table) are deliberate (but not always disingenuous) signals directed towards others about how we would like to be seen. Other clues (e.g., the music on your iPod or the disarray in the office-desk drawer) are inadvertent reflections of our styles of feeling and thinking and of our history of behavior. This talk will present the result from a wide range of research aimed at unraveling the links between people and places. Together, these studies of physical, aural, and virtual environments show how people use such information to form perceptions about others that, in turn, influence the nature of their social interactions.