Messages and mistakes: 
How language mishaps illuminate cognition
Thursday | May 12 | 12 pm - 1 pm | Bartlett 107
Language is a complex cognitive phenomenon that interfaces with perception, attention, and memory. By looking at how these factors cause language difficulty, we can gain new insight on how the mind works. The research presented here focuses on the mishaps that occur in the translation between thought and language within the domain of subject-verb number agreement production.  Even native speakers make agreement errors, producing unintended utterances like The back of my pants *ARE missing. Other agreement variations are connected with meaning, such that the appearance of a plural verb conveys information about the number of objects the speaker is referring to (compare Peanut butter and jelly... ARE on the table vs IS my favorite sandwich).  Using behavioral experiments, advanced statistics, and computational modeling, Brehm demonstrates how the sources of these variations connect with factors in language itself and from the perceptual properties of what the speaker is talking about. In doing so, she highlights the dynamic nature of online language use and showcases the importance of taking an interdisciplinary approach to social science research.
Speaker: Laurel Brehm (Northwestern University | Linguistics)
Understanding and Using Design Tools to Improve the Outcomes of Social Institutes and Mechanisms
Monday| May 16 2016 | 12 pm - 1 pm | Bartlett 107

This talk will present two studies focusing on social institutes  and mechanisms. The first study is about search advertising auction design. The second example is about crowdfunding mechanism design. The first study uses agent-based modeling to analyze how different bid information disclosure polices affect search engine revenue and efficiency of the auctions. Currently, the search engines do not provide advertisers with bid information. The study compares this no-information policy with two alternative policies, namely, partial disclosure policy and full-information policy. Partial disclosure policy provides bid statistics, while full-information policy provides all bids. The results show that information can make difference in terms of both search engine revenue and efficiency. The second study looks into a rule that deals with the donated money when a crowdfuding project only raises part of its goal amount. There are two options. A crowdfuding website can either give the money to the project creator or send the money back to the donors. The results illustrate that different options can lead to different outcomes in terms of what types of crowdfunding projects will be created on a crowdfunding website.

Speaker: Wenjuan Ma (Michigan State University | Media & Information Studies) 
Should I Stay or Should I Go? The Impact of Firm Changes, Occupational Mobility and Education on Earnings, 1965-2015
Wednesday | May 18 | 12 pm - 1 pm | Bartlett 107
This presentation explores changes over time in the impact of inter-firm and occupational mobility on wage trajectories and the extent to which these reflect widening wage gaps between  levels of educational attainment. Pearlman uses a six category measure of inter-firm mobility that accounts for whether or not the firm change also involves an occupational change and whether it can be considered to be voluntary or involuntary (e.g. following a layoff or dismissal from a previous position). Using longitudinal data from three cohorts of young men (aged 18-31) from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth, the study examines whether the impact of the various types of firm changes on subsequent wages has changed over the past 50 years. It also focuses on whether the effects of the various types of inter-firm mobility on wages differ by educational attainment and the extent to which this has changed over time. Results suggest that wage losses resulting from job involuntary job loss have increased over time and that remaining in the same occupation post-displacement serves as a protective factor vis-a-vis wage loss. Furthermore, the impact on subsequent wage outcomes resulting from voluntary firm mobility, with or without a corresponding occupational change, is better for individuals who hold a bachelor's degree. This educational disparity has also increased over time.
Speaker: Jessica Pearlman (University of North Carolina Chapel Hill | Sociology)
ISSR Methodology Consultants and Workshops are generously supported by the   Graduate School .