The McCrady Annual Lecture on Belief Systems | College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences

Dr. Gordon Pennycook

Join Dr. Gordon Pennycook for a discussion on belief systems and how they are formed, propagated, defended and changed. Register Now! Learn more

The McCrady Annual Lecture on Belief Systems

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Dr. Gordon Pennycook
Associate Professor, University of Regina

Thursday, October 20, 2022
UNT Union

Gordon Pennycook is an Associate Professor at the University of Regina's Hill/Levene Schools of Business. He obtained his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology in 2016 at the University of Waterloo. Prior to starting at the University Regina in 2018, he held a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship at Yale University. His expertise is human reasoning and decision-making and he has published over 85 peer-reviewed articles, including in journals such as Nature, Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Nature Human Behavior, and Trends in Cognitive Science. He has received several awards, such as the Governor General's Gold Medal, Poynter Institute's International Fact-Checking Network "Researcher of the Year", Vincent Di Lollo Early Career Achievement Award from the Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour, and Cognitive Science, the Psychonomic Society's Early Career Award, and the Association for Psychological Sciences "Rising Star" award. He was selected to the Royal Society of Canada's College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists in 2020.

About the McCrady Annual Lecture on Belief Systems

The McCrady Annual Lecture was established by donor Richard E. ("Mac") McCrady as a means for informing and enlightening people about how the mind works, with emphasis on belief systems as to how they are formed, propagated, defended and changed. Most people tend to believe that they arrive at their belief systems through rational, objective thinking and that consequently what they believe to be true must be correct. Largely as a result of confirmation bias, individuals may close their minds to any input which does not support their beliefs, thinking that those who don't agree with them are incorrect. Their belief systems can thus give rise to dissension, demonizing, disharmony, and even war. If people could be made more aware of the fact that their belief systems are mostly, if not totally, determined by factors over which they have little or no control, they might be more appreciative and tolerant of those who disagree with them. The purpose of The McCrady Annual Lecture is not to evaluate the right or wrong of any particular belief, but to create awareness of belief systems and how they are formed, nourished, reinforced, changed, and extinguished, for the purpose of creating more understanding and tolerance among peoples.

UNT College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Committee

Richard E. ("Mac") McCrady

Dr. Jim Meernik, Interim Executive Dean, CLASS

Dr. Warren Burggren, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences

Dr. Joshua Hook, Professor & Associate Director, Counseling Psychology

Dr. Kevin McCaffree, Assistant Professor, Sociology

Dr. Terra Schwerin Rowe, Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy & Religion