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

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Background and Education

I am an Assistant Professor at University of Regina’s Hill/Levene Schools of Business.

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, and delusional ideation (in roughly that order). I have most recently become fascinated with fake newspolitical ideology, and methodological issues that pertain to the measurement of cognitive reflection. See published work for details.

Selected Publications

Full list of publications available here

Pennycook, G., Cannon, T. D., & Rand, D. G. (in press). Prior exposure increases perceived accuracy of fake news. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. preprint
Pennycook, G. & Rand, D. G. (2018). Lazy, not biased: Susceptibility to partisan fake news is better explained by lack of reasoning than by motivated reasoning. Cognition. link preprint
Lazer*, D., Baum*, M., Benkler, J., Berinsky, A., Greenhill, K., Menczer, F., Metzger, M., Nyhan, B., Pennycook, G., Rothschild, D., Sloman, S., Sunstein, C., Thorson, E., Watts, D., & Zittrain, J. (2018). The science of fake news. Science, 9, 1094-1096. link
Thompson, V. A., Pennycook, G., Trippas, D. & Evans, J. St. B. T. (2018). Do smart people have better intuitions?  Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 147, 945-961. link
Pennycook, G., Cheyne, J.A., Barr, N., Koehler, D.J. & Fugelsang, J.A. (2015) On the reception and detection of pseudo-profound bullshit. Judgment and Decision Making, 10, 549-563. link (pdf)
Pennycook, G., Fugelsang, J.A., & Koehler, D.J. (2015). What makes us think? A three-stage dual-process model of analytic engagement. Cognitive Psychology, 80, 34-72. link
Pennycook, G., Fugelsang, J.A., & Koehler, D.J. (2015). Everyday consequences of analytic thinking. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 24, 425-43. link
Thompson, V.A., Prowse Turner, J., Pennycook, G., Ball, L., Brack, H., Ophir, Y. & Ackerman, R. (2013). The role of answer fluency and perceptual fluency as metacognitive cues for initiating analytic thinking. Cognition, 128, 237-251. link
Pennycook, G., Cheyne, J.A., Seli, P., Koehler, D.J. & Fugelsang, J.A. (2012). Analytic cognitive style predicts religious and paranormal belief. Cognition, 213, 335-346. link
Pennycook, G., Fugelsang, J.A. & Koehler, D.J. (2012). Are we good at detecting conflict during reasoning? Cognition, 124, 101-106. link
Thompson, V.A., Prowse Turner, J. & Pennycook, G. (2011). Intuition, reason and metacognition. Cognitive Psychology, 63, 107-140. link

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, in particular, cognitive 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 strong opinions about separating one’s identity from their data. We’re all in this together!