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For the researchers of AMMACHI Labs and CWEGE to be exposed to the high calibre of research and work that Dr. Gil Diesendruck – Bar Ilan University, Israel – Psychology Department has done, and to gain insights into the research process through his experiences. Additionally, any potential collaboration that comes out of these interactions is welcomed.

Biography of Speaker

Dr. Gil Diesendruck received his B.A. in Psychology and Economics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at the University of Michigan, and was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Arizona. He was also a visiting professor at Yale University. He is currently a Full Professor at the Department of Psychology, Director of the Language and Cognitive Development Laboratory at the Gonda Brain Research Center, and Head of the Interdisciplinary Unit, all at Bar-Ilan University, Israel. His research – focusing on children’s cultural learning and social categorization – has been funded by the Israel Science Foundation, German-Israel Foundation, and Volkswagen Foundation, and has been published in leading journals in Psychology. He has been an Associate Editor of the journal Child Development, and is currently Associate Editor in the Annual Reviews of Developmental Psychology and Journal of Cognition and Development. He is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Sciences

About the Talk

The discussion on The Conceptual Basis Of Discrimination adults’ motivation to essentialism social groups highlighted two key points. First, differently from what would be expected from a non-partisan conceptual belief (e.g., essentialism about animal categories), social essentialism is applied asymmetrically to various social categories, such that in some cases one category (e.g., one’s in-group) is essentialized to a larger extent than another (e.g., one’s outgroup), and sometimes vice-versa. Second, essentialism may derive from distinct motivations, some endorsing the maintenance of power differences and thus catering primarily to privileged groups, others promoting in-group cohesiveness and thus pertinent to all groups. Characteristics of essentialism, Why form social categories, Evolutionary psychology were also discussed

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