2019 Colloquiums & Seminars

OMG, I did not see that! How we can miss what is right in front of our eyes

Dr. Jeremy M. Wolfe, PhD. Professor of Ophthalmology & Radiology, Harvard Medical School. Visual Attention Lab, Department of Surgery, Brigham & Women's Hospital

Monday, October 21, 2019 from 2:30 - 4:00PM in Halpern 126

Event Details

We cannot simultaneously recognize every object in our field of view. As a result, we deploy attention from object to object or place to place, searching for what we need. This is true whether we are examining a Giotto fresco or screening for cancerous nodules in a lung CT. Fortunately, we do not need to search at random. Our attention is guided by the features of the targets we seek and the structure of the scenes in which those targets are embedded. Again, this is true whether that scene is a fresco or a lung. Unfortunately, our search engine does not work perfectly and we sometimes fail to find what we seek, even when that target is, literally, right in front of our eyes. We are even more likely to miss important items while we are looking for something else. When those missed targets are such things as tumors or bombs, these errors are socially significant, worth understanding and, if possible, worth correcting. In this talk, I will illustrate some of the basic principles of human visual attention. I can promise that you will fail to see some things that you would think you should have seen. Finally, I will present data showing how those principles play out in socially important search tasks. 

The gap between academic & practical psychology

Dr. Jan Smedslund, University of Oslo, Norway

Thursday, April4th, 2019 from 3:00 - 4:00PM in Halpern 114

Event Details

After many years as a university professor publishing theoretical and experimental papers, lecturing, and becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the current empirical research methodology, Dr. Jan Smedslund from the University of Oslo Norway applied for a 3-year leave of absence to become a licensed clinician. 

He practiced in a psychiatric emergency ward, in a crisis intervention team, in an outpatient clinic for children, and with young drug addicts. For over 30 years Dr. Jan Smedslund maintained a private practice. As a clinician, he has returned to nursery schools where he had previously done experiments, and  worked in the homes of people from social and ethnic strata very different from his own. 

Returning to the University of Oslo in Norway, he has further clarified his critical attitude to current empirical research, and has developed an alternative language-analytic view of research, and a “bricoleur-model” of practice. He will illustrate this with an analysis of Bandura’s theory of self-efficacy, and the concept of personal trust.

Dr. Jan Smedslund is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Oslo and Specialist in Clinical Psychology.

The 2019 Di Lollo distinguished lectureship in psychology: Gender stereotypes have changed but the changes are surprising 

Dr. Alice Eagly

Thursday, March 28th, 2019 from 4:00 - 5:30PM at the SFU Vancouver Campus, Morris J Wosk Center for Dialogue 

Event Details

Given women's large-scale entry into paid labor and their growing educational advantage over men as well as men's increasing domestic labor, a plausible prediction is that the classic gender stereotypes of female communion and male agency are moving toward androgyny. However, a meta-analyis that integrated 16 nationally representative U.S. opinion polls on gender stereotypes extending from 1946 to 2018 found quite different results. Interpretation of these findings emphasizes the origins of gender stereotypes in the social roles of women and men. 

Dr. Alice Eagly - 2019 Di Lollo Distinguished Lecturer

Dr. Alice Eagly is a noted social psychologist who has published extenisvely on the origins of sex differences, social role theory, and gender and leadership. 

She is the James Padilla Chair of Arts and Sciences, Professor of Psychology, Faculty Fellow of Institute for Policy Research, and Professor of Management & Organizations at Northwestern University. 

The Psychology of Change: Achieving a Transformation of the Global Food System

Tuesday, March 5th, 2019 from 5:00 - 7:00PM at the SFU Vancouver Campus, Morris J Wosk Center for Dialogue

Event Details

The types of food we eat, the ways we produce it, and the amount wasted or lost threatens human health and environmental sustainability while also contributing to climate change.

Psychology can help intervene in the human behaviours that contribute to unsustainable methods and promote the changes required to transform the global food system.

During this colloquium, a group of experts discussed how we can achieve these goals, locally and globally.

Keynote: Delivering Healthy and Sustainable Diets to all Canadians

  • Brent Loken: Director of Science Translation, EAT
  • Courtney Howard: CAPE, Canadian Associations of Physicians for the Environment


  • Evan Fraser, Director of Arrell Food Institute, Univ. of Guelph


  • Susan Clayton, Whitmore-Williams Professor of Psychology-Wooster
  • Tammara Soma, Assistant Professor (Planning), SFU School of Resource and Environmental Management
  • Hannah Wittman, Professor, Academic Director, Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm
  • Ned Bell, Executive Chef, Ocean Wise, Chefs for Oceans
  • Clifford Atleo, Kam’ayaam/Chachim’multhnii, Assistant Professor, SFU School of Resource and Environmental Management