All of us are influenced by the networks around us, from the ties that link us to friends and family to social media and their news feeds. Increasingly, what we see and who we hear from are determined by digital technologies. In this video, Annenberg School for Communication Associate Professor Sandra González-Bailón talks about her work on the networks that are quietly shaping our lives.
In an experiment in which people were asked to categorize unfamiliar shapes, individuals and small groups created many different unique categorization systems while large groups created systems that were nearly identical to one another. Damon Centola, Professor of Communication, Sociology, and Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, explains his new study on how categorization happens at the population level.
Changing human behavior is a difficult thing — even when a person wants to change. Using the tools of neuroscience, Emily Falk, Ph.D., studies how the brain reacts to messages and moments in our day-to-day lives, and what can be done to make behavior change stick. Falk is a Professor of Communication, Psychology, and Marketing at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and director of its Communication Neuroscience Lab.
“Emile” is a film that celebrates a scientific mission reflecting on peace, conflict, and healing.
Made by the Annenberg School for Communication, the film charts a year in the life of Emile Bruneau, neuroscientist and founder of the Peace and Conflict Neuroscience Lab at Penn, as he embraces a brain cancer (glioblastoma) diagnosis with surprising positivity and works to accelerate the timeline of his scientific mission: to use the tools of neuroscience and psychology to bring peace to groups of people who are in conflict. At the same time, he reflects back on his life, including the experience of growing up with a schizophrenic mother and how that built his empathy, and considers how to prepare his young children for the loss of their father.
Bruneau, founder of the Peace and Conflict Neuroscience Lab at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication, has worked to find actionable strategies for healing the divisions between groups such as Israelis and Palestinians, Democrats and Republicans, Muslims and non-Muslims, Hungarians and Roma, Colombians and the FARC, and many others. His mission is to "put science to work for peace." Read more about his work at pcnl.asc.upenn.edu.
In the introduction to this four-video series featuring neuroscientist Emile Bruneau, he lays out the foundation of his work into how the brain drives groups of people to conflict. Bruneau was a researcher at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and director of its Peace and Conflict Neuroscience Lab. The other videos in the series cover the topics of empathy, dehumanization, and metaperceptions.
Sadly, Bruneau passed away from brain cancer in September, 2020. These videos are part of his efforts to ensure that the important work of bringing peace to the world through science would live on.