Category Archives: psychology

Craig Cormick on Why clever people can believe in dumb things

Auckland University of Technology had Craig Cormick talk to the public on Tuesday 9th April on:

Why clever people can believe in dumb things and how the internet is making us stupider.

Abstract:    Addressing societal concerns about contentious new technologies such as GM foods and crops, or issues such as global climate change, has become increasingly difficult with a growing tendency for people to only seek out information that supports their existing values and beliefs rather than challenging them. This enables fringe beliefs to thrive – such as more than half of New Zealanders believing some people have psychic powers, a third believing the earth has been visited by UFOs from other planets, and a quarter believing astrology can predict people’s futures. In this entertaining talk, Dr Craig Cormick looks at the social psychology of how we form our attitudes and then reinforce them, and what role the internet has in attitude formation in the 21st Century.

About the speaker:
Craig Cormick is an award-winning Canberra author and science communicator. He has published over 100 short stories, including eight short story collections, as well as novel and non-fiction, with both independent and mainstream publishers.
Currently employed at the CSIRO, Craig is a regular commentator on public attitudes towards emerging technologies in the media and at conferences in Australia and internationally. He has travelled to all seven continents and his research has been published widely in peer-reviewed journals and conference papers. In 2005 he authored the reports What you really need to know about what the public really thinks about GM foods (2005) and Cloning Goes to the Movies (2006).

A transcript/article of a similar presentation can be found here:

VIDEO:  Dr Craig Cormick in conversation with Dr Di Bowman about the social values that govern much public perception of risk, and how they affect the decisions people make.


Alice on Asexuality


On Tuesday 19th April, one of our members, Alice, comes to talk to us about Asexuality. Alice is an asexual woman living with an asexual male partner. She has studied biopsychology and hormones. She will explain all the terminology associated with identifying as asexual, will be taking questions at the end of the talk, and making available printed resources leading to more information about asexuality.