2014   Program   Schedules   Schedule Overview   Opening Session and Presidential Symposium

Expanding Social and Personality Psychology: Big Data and New Technology 



Eric Horvitz (Microsoft Research):  “Predicting behaviors and outcomes from anonymized logs of human activities”

Adam Kramer (Facebook):  "Novel methods and unobtainable results at Facebook"

Roxane Cohen Silver (University of California, Irvine): "Ready and waiting: Studying extreme events in the real world"

Jean-Baptiste Michel (Institute for Quantitative Social Science, Harvard): "What technology and big data can do for social and personality psychology"



We need to get out more.  While we social and personality psychologists have been toiling in our labs, new technologies have been redefining social behaviors and providing new methods to study them.  Some of the most exciting and important discoveries about social and personality are now the domain of computer science, engineering, and communication.  Rather than standing on the sidewalk shaking our heads in disapproval, we should be joining forces.


This symposium introduces a broader conception of real world personality and social psychology from some of the leading scientists in the world.  Eric Horvitz is a Distinguished Scientist and the Managing Director of Microsoft Research.  He is involved with the analysis of people's thoughts and behaviors through their use of Twitter and browser searches.  Adam Kramer is a social psychologist who works at Facebook who has been involved in large scale social experiments and personality investigations with millions of people.  Roxane Cohen Silver is Professor of Psychology at UC-Irvine.  She is an international expert on how people cope with disasters through the use of digital technology and more conventional methods.  Jean-Baptiste Michel is a mathematician and engineer at Harvard and Google and the co-founder of the Google Books Project.  He is broadly interested in how we can harness online data to understand individuals, groups, and cultures.


Social and personality psychologists are witnessing a revolution in new ways to think about and study behaviors.  Rather than marvel on the sidelines, it's time to jump into the fray and work with colleagues in computer sciences, engineering, and other disciplines. This symposium is a call to action and provides some jumping lessons.