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Eminent Mentor talk by Dr. Stacy Marsella

Thursday, February 20, 2020
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Information Technology/Engineering : 459
Title: Simulating human behavior: psychology envisioned as engineering.

Abstract: Computational models of human behavior are used in a wide range of artifacts. At a large scale, social simulations are being used, for example, to model people’s response to a natural disaster. At a medium-scale, models of human decision-makers are being used to study social technical systems such as the pharmaceutical drug supply network. At the highly detailed individual scale, virtual replicas of humans are being crafted. These virtual humans are facsimiles of people that can engage people in face-to-face interactions using the same verbal and nonverbal behavior people use. The designs of these various models heavily leverage psychological theories and data. Psychology and the social sciences, in turn, are increasingly using these computational artifacts as means to formulate, test and explore theories about human behavior.

In this talk, I will first give a brief overview of my group’s work in social simulation and virtual humans. Then I will provide my perspective on the synergy between psychology and the engineering of these artifacts as well as illustrate this perspective using our work on the computational modeling of emotion.
Bio: Stacy Marsella is a professor in the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology at University of Glasgow, where he is the director of the Centre for Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. He is also a co-Director of SOCIAL, Glasgow’s UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Socially Intelligent Artificial Agents.
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