Psychology Series: Dr. Samuel Sommers

Time: 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Contact: Erin Dupuis · · 504-865-3133

Location: Nunemaker Auditorium, 3rd Floor, Monroe Hall

Situations Matter: Understanding the Hidden Power of Context

Dr. Sommers is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Tufts University in Medford, MA. Dr. Sommers has published over 40 peer-reviewed manuscripts, several book chapters, and two books. He also blogs regularly for Psychology Today as well as the Huffington Post. As an experimental social psychologist, he is interested in issues related to stereotyping, prejudice, and group diversity. His research focuses on two general (and often overlapping) topics: 1) race and social perception, judgment, and interaction; 2) the intersection of psychology and law.

This talk will integrate behavioral science, popular culture, personal anecdote, and humor in exploring the true nature of human nature.  Context—the ordinary circumstances in which we find ourselves— has an enormous, but often hidden impact on what we think, how we act, and who we are as people.  We will explore this critical role of situational forces across a range of domains, including crowd behavior, gender differences, and love/attraction, coming the conclusion that learning to appreciate this power of situations on daily life renders us more effective people, in pursuits personal as well as professional.