Cognition in (social) context: A social-interactionist approach to emergent phenomena

Alin Coman (Princeton University)

June 18, 2021, 16:00–17:00


Room Zoom


The development of shared memories is a fundamental characteristic of human communities. From small groups such as families to large ones such as nations, communities form collective memories of past events that often impact their identities and behaviors. This emergent outcome (i.e., shared memories) is thought to occur owing to a dynamic system of information sharing and memory updating, which fundamentally depends on communication. In this talk, I will present a research program to study how communities dynamically form these collective memories. Using experiments that involve conversational interactions in social networks, I will show how large-scale social phenomena (i.e., collective memory) can emerge out of microlevel local dynamics (i.e., mnemonic reinforcement and suppression effects). The social-interactionist approach proposed herein points to optimal strategies for spreading information in social networks and provides a framework for measuring and forging collective memories in communities of individuals.


Alin Coman (Princeton University), Cognition in (social) context: A social-interactionist approach to emergent phenomena, IAST General Seminar, Toulouse: IAST, June 18, 2021, 16:00–17:00, room Zoom.