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Eberly News Blog

15 Mar

Everyone knows that actions have consequences, but did you know that there is a science of consequences?

The Department of Psychology’s colloquium presents featured speaker Susan M. Schneider, PhD. Her recently published trade book, “The Science of Consequences,” has been named a Scientific American Book Club selection. Her talk will take place at 4 p.m. on April 1 in Ming Hsieh Hall on the downtown campus.

Schneider draws together research lines from many scientific fields ranging from genetics to neurotransmitters, emotion to language and parenting to politics.

“Actions have consequences—and being able to learn from them revolutionized life on earth,” Schneider said. “Consequences are everywhere, influencing everything from the humblest flatworms to our most impressive human accomplishments. The science of consequences has incorporated their important role in nature and nurture while producing applications across the board, from everyday life to our biggest societal challenges. Taking an inclusive interdisciplinary systems approach, this talk will summarize how something so deceptively simple can help make sense of so much.

“The potpourri of topics will include the generality of these operant principles, their evolution and biological context, their role in language development and a sampling of their applications, including the positives-to-negatives ratio and self-control,” she explained.
Schneider is a behavior analyst and biopsychologist with an international reputation in nature-nurture relations, mathematical modeling of animal behavior and the principles of learning from consequences. Author of numerous scientific articles and book chapters, she was an engineer who became a friend of B. F. Skinner, served in the Peace Corps and then transitioned into psychology.

Schneider has taught over a dozen different psychology courses during her career, which includes faculty positions at St. Olaf College, Auburn University and Florida International University and a Visiting Research Fellowship at the University of Auckland. She began researching and writing “The Science of Consequences,” during the four years she was a visiting scholar in the Department of Psychology at West Virginia University.

This lecture is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Professor Michael Perone, at 304-293-1785 or Michael.Perone@mail.wvu.edu

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