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University of Michigan School of Information


SBEE Seminar Series: Neil Lewis, Jr.

02/24/2021, 01:00 pm - 02:15 pm

How Social Stratification Affects Information Processing

The United States has long been, and continues to be, a highly segregated society. When societies separate groups of people in the ways that we do in the U.S., that separation has not only economic, political, and sociological consequences, it also affects the psychology of the people in those societies due to social cognitive processes.

In this talk, I will share recent findings from my program of research that has been using the United States as a context to examine how patterns of segregation and other forms of social stratification seep into the mind and affect how people perceive and make meaning of the world around them. I will also discuss the consequences of those meaning-making processes for people’s judgments, motivations, and decisions, particularly in the domains of education, health, and environmental sustainability. I will conclude with implications of this research for social scientific theories, and the practical application of those theories.

Speaker Bio:

Neil Lewis Jr

Neil Lewis, Jr. is a behavioral, intervention, and meta-scientist at Cornell University and Weill Cornell Medicine, where he is an assistant professor in the department of communicationdivision of general internal medicine, and graduate field of psychology. Lewis is also a science communicator who writes about the application of social and behavioral science research in policy and practice at FiveThirtyEight and elsewhere. Lewis received his B.A. in economics and psychology from Cornell University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Michigan.

Neil Lewis’s research examines how people’s social contexts and identities influence their motivation to pursue their goals, and their success in goal pursuit efforts. He is particularly interested in the implications of these processes for (in)equity in education, health, and environmental outcomes, as well as their implications for the efficacy of interventions and policies to improve equity in these and other intersecting domains. Lewis has won numerous awards and honors for this research; in 2019 he was named a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science and in 2020 he won the SAGE Young Scholar early career award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.


The Social, Behavioral and Experimental Economics seminar series is a joint presentation of the School of Information, the Ross School of Business and the Department of Economics (LSA). 

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