Dr. John Bargh
Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science
Research on embodied cognition is a booming enterprise these days. Bargh will describe several lines of research in which physical experiences directly influence analogous, or metaphorically related, psychological experiences. Physical warmth, spatial dimensions, and haptic experiences all are found to influence the corresponding social-psychological domains (i.e., social warmth and trust, emotional and psychological distance, being 'soft' on crime). Brainimaging studies will be described showing that at least some of these effects are 'hard wired' and not based on semantic priming or extensive experience.
John Bargh received his doctorate in social psychology from the University of Michigan. He then took a faculty position at New York University where he stayed until 2003 when he accepted his current position at Yale. Bargh's research focuses on unconscious mechanisms that underlie social perception, evaluation and preferences, and motivation and goal pursuit in realistic and complex social environments. He has also written extensively on free will and the nature and purpose of consciousness itself. Bargh has received numerous honors and awards, including an Early Career Award from the American Psychological Association; the Campbell Award for distinguished scientific contributions from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology; and the Scientific Impact Award from the Society for Experimental Social Psychology. He was a Guggenheim fellow and a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences.