Talk by Brett Buttliere

When: January 19, 2022,  2:00pm

Where: Luddy Center for Artificial Intelligence (2044)

Zoom link:

Speaker: Brett Buttliere

Title: Psychology and cognitive conflict in the diffusion of scientific information.


The talk will focus on the psychology of scientist in both doing science and diffusing science, focusing in particular on the role of cognitive conflict as a motivating factor for communicating and doing science, online. Studies will be presented suggesting that people are more motivated to respond to those they disagree with, and that they write longer and more negative responses, but also that these posts are considered of higher informational content and quality. These posts also receive the most attention, and is distinctly different then situations where users do not have the opportunity to respond, where users prefer to avoid information they disagree with (filter bubble). The affordances of the situation appear to solve this large contradiction in the literature between filter bubbles and negativity biases online. Within science, studies will be outlined where scientists write more papers about negative topics, and that negative topics are discussed more online. I will also briefly present ongoing work examining the Wikipedia profiles of the world’s scientists, and open a discussion about what can and should be learned from these data (e.g., tracing the growth and movement of various fields across space and time). I hope it will be of interest to you and that there will be much room for discussion after.


Brett Buttliere is a philosophically and computationally trained psychologist, mostly focusing on how we can ask more effective questions, make more discoveries, and generally do as effective and impactful science as possible. I did my PhD at a Leibniz Institute for Knowledge Media at the University of Tubingen, where I studied the role of cognitive conflict in talking about and doing science (online), I have also worked on the digital infrastructure at the Leibniz Institute for Psychology at the University of Trier Germany, where I provided feedback in light of Buttliere (2014), especially about data sharing and reuse, and I am now working on understanding the especially internationalization of knowledge at the NCU.