grpennycook@gmail.com / gordon.pennycook@uregina.ca

Google Scholar / Twitter / OSF

Background and Education

I am an Assistant Professor of Behavioural Science at University of Regina’s Hill/Levene Schools of Business. I am also an Associate Member of the Department of Psychology. I am a member of the editorial board for Thinking & Reasoning and a consulting editor for Judgment and Decision Making.

I completed my Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree in 2009 under the supervision of Dr. Valerie Thompson at the University of Saskatchewan (Canada). In 2010, I moved to the University of Waterloo (also Canada) to work with Dr. Jonathan Fugelsang and Dr. Derek Koehler, receiving a Master of Arts degree in 2011 and a PhD in 2016. I then completed a two-year Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University (Department of Psychology) with Dr. David Rand and taught at the Yale School of Management with Dr. Shane Frederick.

I grew up in Carrot River, a lovely little town of ~1,000 on the northern edge of civilization in Saskatchewan, Canada.

Research Interests

My research focus is on reasoning and decision-making, broadly defined. I investigate the distinction between intuitive processes (“gut feelings”) and more deliberative (“analytic”) reasoning processes and am principally interested in the causes (a) and consequences (b) of analytic thinking. That is, what makes us think and why is it (thinking) important?

I have fairly broad interests, although most are organized under these two broad research programs. I’ve published on religious belief, sleep paralysis, morality, creativity, smartphone use, health beliefs (e.g., homeopathy), language use among climate change deniers, pseudo-profound bullshit, delusional ideation, fake news (and disinformation more broadly), political ideology, and science beliefs (in roughly that order). I am also interested in the methodological and theoretical issues that pertain to the measurement of cognitive reflection and motivated reasoning. My research sits at the intersection of cognitive and social psychology and most recently I have gotten interested in the use of social media data for social science (both correlational and experimental). For an overview of recent work on misinformation and motivated reasoning, click here. See published work for a full list of publications and working papers.

Below is a short explanation of some of our fake news research:

Scientific Citizenship

I try my best to be a good citizen of science. To that end, I have attempted to keep myself accountable by openly analyzing the quality of evidence presented in my published work (see “Self-Analysis“). I have grown to be quite concerned with the present job market for psychologists, and what this means for present and future students (see Analysis of the Canadian Cognitive Psychology Job Market) [although, mea culpa, this was partially fueled by my having to personally deal with the indignities of the job market in 2016/2017]. Finally, I have some modest opinions about separating one’s identity from their data (we’re all in this together!) and the value of preregistration (see my Twitter page).

Note for Potential Students

I am looking for graduate students (in psychology) for the upcoming academic year! Graduate students would be a part of the Psychology Department at the University of Regina. Please feel free to send me an email if you’re interested! The deadline to apply is January 15th. Further information about applications can be found on the UofR website (this is also where one applies): link