David A. Dunning, PhD

Professor of Psychology, Cornell University

Presentation 1: Being Knowledgeable about Knowledge: Recognizing Expertise and Ignorance in Self and Other People
Success and happiness in life often depends on successfully gauging when one is knowledgeable versus when one needs to turn to someone else for advice. Dunning will review psychological research on assessing knowledge in self and others and focus on the major challenge that task presents: people often don't know the scope of what they do not know. Consequently, they can be profoundly overconfident about their expertise and skill. Dunning will discuss how to avoid this overconfidence and in the process gain crucial knowledge.

Presentation 2: Eyewitness Identification: The Psychology Underlying Accurate Versus Mistaken Identity
Thousands of criminal cases turn each year on the basis of eyewitness testimony. Such testimony is crucial, but its accuracy is fragile. In this talk, Dunning will review the psychology behind eyewitness identification, explore the characteristics that indicate accuracy, and discuss how criminal investigators may gain accuracy and avoid error.

Speaker Background:
Dunning is professor of psychology at Cornell University and the former executive officer of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. He has served as a visiting scholar at the University of Michigan, Yale University, University of Mannheim, and the University of Cologne. His best-known work focuses on why people tend to hold impressions of their competence and character that are logically or statistically impossible. He also conducts work in eyewitness testimony, behavioral economics, and the ways in which internal motives and desires influence vision and other perceptual processes.