Warren Thorngate

Warren Thorngate
Carleton University · Department of Psychology

PhD

About

58
Publications
11,489
Reads
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1,157
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 1979 - June 2010
Carleton University
Position
  • Professor (Full)
July 1970 - June 1979
University of Alberta
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (58)
Article
Full-text available
The present essay describes how one small, rural, Canadian town relied on its community sprit to support locals affected by the current pandemic. Such spirit might increasingly attract people, now working from home in large cities, who seek a sense of community beyond what work offers. The attraction could bring new life to small towns.
Article
A problem is a difference between what a person has and wants. A solution is anything that reduces the difference. These two simple definitions form the foundation of an ecological perspective on the often-complex, reciprocal relationships among people, their environments and their behaviours—a perspective that mixes causal ideas from psychology wi...
Article
Agent-based models are more likely to generate accurate outputs if they incorporate valid representations of human agents than if they don't. The present article outlines three research methodologies commonly used for explicating the cognitive processes and motivational orientations of human judgment and decision making: policy capturing, informati...
Article
Most traditional strategies of assessing the fit between a simulation's set of predictions (outputs) and a set of relevant observations rely either on visual inspection or squared distances among averages. Here we introduce an alternative goodness-of-fit strategy, Ordinal Pattern Analysis (OPA) that will (we argue) be more appropriate for judging t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We frequently face decision situations (selecting a mate, accepting a job offer, etc.) presenting only one alternative at a time and requiring us to "take it or leave it" (TIOLI). These situations force us to adopt some kind of satisfying rule setting minimum standards and accepting the first alternative that meets or exceeds them. One such rule se...
Article
We conducted a computer simulation of hundreds of competitions for limited journal space, varying (a) the correlation between the talent of authors and the quality of their manuscripts, (b) the correlation between manuscript quality and quality judged by peer reviewers, (c) the weights reviewers and editors gave judged quality versus number of prev...
Article
This study was aimed to assess expectations about future of personal life and future of the world among a sample of Iranian and Canadian students. 60 Iranians from Tehran and Shahid Beheshti Universities in Iran and and 62 Canadians from Carleton University in Canada completed a researcher made questionnaire asking their beliefs and expectations in...
Article
Full-text available
Whenever the amount of information produced exceeds the amount of attention available to consume it, a competition for attention is born. The competition is increasingly fierce in science where the exponential growth of information has forced its producers, consumers and gatekeepers to become increasingly selective in what they attend to and what t...
Article
Simulations facilitate the construction of increasingly complex theories, which, in turn, suffer three attendant curses. By definition, complex theories have many variables, decreasing the chances that all of them will be clear and measurable. This makes complex theories difficult to test, decreasing the chances they will be adequately tested, and...
Article
Merit-based tests and contests have become popular methods for allocating rewards – from trophies to contracts, jobs to grants, admissions to licenses. With origins in jurisprudence, methods of rewarding merit seem fairer than those rewarding political or social connections, bribery, aggression, status, or wealth. Because of this, merit-based compe...
Article
Full-text available
This paper introduces a project for improving career-related websites in Canada. The findings represent job seekers' experiences with career-related websites including the type of career information they want on a website and their preferred means of packaging and distributing the desired information. The implications of this research are discussed...
Article
Many simulations are undertaken in hopes of forming or changing the beliefs and policies of policy makers. A simulation used for this purpose becomes a rhetorical device, a tool of social influence. The authors review some of the important principles of attitude change incorporated in modern rhetoric and show how they might be employed to increase...
Article
Full-text available
An abstract is not available.
Article
Two articles in this journal (Rudolph, 2006; Yamada & Kato, 2006) courageously attempt to consider new ways to conceive of time in relation to human development, presenting several visual metaphors to make their case. I explore some of the confounds of these metaphors, and suggest why practical research techniques and examples derived from the meta...
Article
Full-text available
Eight computer simulations examined how long hypothetical gamblers could continue gambling without going broke in different games of chance. Gamblers began with a fixed amount of money and paid a fixed ante to play each game. Games had equal expected value but varied in their probability of winning and amount won. When the expected value was zero o...
Article
People often infer that high-technology clustersyield economic growth and success because economic growth often results incommunities containing high-technology clusters.Many communities seek toreproduce the success of high-technology clusters like Silicon Valley North inCanada.However, no formula exists to reproduce a successful industrialcluster....
Article
Two Monte Carlo simulations were developed to investigate the social consequences of balancing sentiment relations among triads of members of a larger group, when balancing one triad can imbalance others. Using assumptions of Balance Theory (Heider, 1958), random starting combinations of liking, disliking and no relations among 9 or16 people were i...
Article
Full-text available
Evaluators of an organization whose programmes or policies are under evaluation frequently encounter anxiety and resistance from the evaluees. Literature abounds with suggestions for developing collaborative interactions. Few studies, if any, show circumstances where the evaluees' need for co-operation and support transcends the inherent anxiety an...
Article
Full-text available
We who attempt to compare policies or the processes by which they are made occasionally yearn for new concepts, methods, metrics, or other tools of comparison. Most of our current comparative tools are borrowed from economics and political science, a few from psychology, history, business, or elsewhere. Most have been dulled by years of use. The ol...
Article
This article illustrates how some of the core concepts of social psychology can increase understanding of the practice of policy analysis. Policy analysis is shown to be a form of rhetoric subject to social psychological principles of attitude change. The article argues that policy analysts are primarily concerned with changing policymakers' belief...
Article
In a series of four studies, student postings on newsgroups created for their courses at Carleton University were monitored, and opinions were gathered from samples of students and instructors regarding their newsgroup activities. Results show that an overwhelming majority of students never posted messages on newsgroups, nor did their instructors....
Article
Programming languages for social simulations are rapidly proliferating. The result is a Tower of Babel effect: Many of us find it increasingly effortful to learn and to teach more programming languages and increasingly difficult to sustain an audience beyond the programming dialect of our choice. We need a programming lingua franca. Here I argue wh...
Conference Paper
Video-based media spaces are designed to support casual interaction between intimate collaborators. Yet transmitting video is fraught with privacy concerns. Some researchers suggest that the video stream be filtered to mask out potentially sensitive ...
Article
Full-text available
to maximize shareholder wealth. However, managers often do not explicitly pursue the maximization of profits (Mueller 1992). Instead, they frequently make decisions so as to perform well relative to their competitors, which we refer to as having competitor-oriented objectives. Managers might choose not to focus on maximizing future profits, because...
Article
The article by Sabat, Fath, Moghaddam and Harr¥e (1999) is found to include relevant information about ways in which the issue of self-esteem can be analyzed in real-life settings. Yet the article is shown not to have included full evidence for refutation of alternative episodes. The phenomenon of Alzheimer’s disease sufferers force psychologists t...
Article
Computer simulations were conducted to examine how three different methods of redistributing wealth would affect the survival rate and wealth distribution of players with limited funds who repeatedly played a game of chance. In one simulation the winner of each game was taxed, and the revenues were immediately redistributed equally to the losers. I...
Article
RÉSUMÉ Les scientifiques font de nombreuses recherches quantitatives dans l'espoir d'influencer l'esprit des gens, c'est-à-dire leur vision de ce qui est vrai ou faux, et d'obtenir ainsi qu'ils prennent de meilleures décisions. Toutefois, les recherches indiquent qu'il est plus important d'atteindre le coeur, c'est-à-dire les valeurs, leur vision d...
Book
I was asked and, alas, with little reflection on the magnitude of the task, thoughtlessly consented, to take on the 'simple' job of writing a preface to the collection of essays comprising this volume. That I was asked to carry out this simple task was probably due to one consideration: I was the main representative of the host institution (Clark U...
Article
Responds to comments by R. C. Tees (see record 1991-03035-001), J. G. Adair (see record 1991-03013-001), J. E. Grusec (see record 1991-03021-001), K. Danziger (see record 1991-03016-001), L. P. Mos (see record 1991-03027-001), H. J. Stam (see record 1991-03033-001), and V. Vikis-Freilbergs (see record 1991-03039-001) on W. Thorngate's (see r...
Article
Full-text available
Suggests that the production and consumption of information, including the information called psychology, require investments of attention. Yet attention is a limited resource, so, as more information is produced, more products must compete for the limited attention of consumers. Ideally, the competition should lead to better information and should...
Article
Twelve professors, 15 graduate students, and 54 undergraduates read the first pages of eight research articles from four social science areas and then listed up to five keywords or phrases that they believed best described the content of each. These descriptors were compared with those tagging each article in a popular computer-assisted bibliograph...
Chapter
Adjudicated contests are often held to determine who merits a limited resource. Attempts to employ consistent and fair criteria of merit are vitiated by increases in the contestant population; as fair contests grow, they eventually devolve into unfair ones. Contestants can use any of three strategies to adapt to this devolutionary circumstance. Psy...
Article
Limited resources (e.g. jobs research grants, welfare, attention) are often allocated to those who desire them according to assessments of merit or deservingness made by presumably neutral judges. The resulting adjudicated contests are, in principle, more fair than other means of allocation: market economies, violence, privilege, kickbacks, etc. Ho...
Chapter
Six principles of attentional economics are developed and employed as a means of understanding the possible relations between information produced and information consumed. It is argued that because available information far exceeds available attention, decisions about allocating attention become increasingly difficult and increasingly arbitrary. T...
Chapter
Statistical analyses can be classified into three general categories: descriptive analysis; inferential analysis; and analysis of fit. Almost all statistical procedures used by psychologists fall into the first two categories. Ironically, almost all statistical procedures useful for the assessment of psychological theories fall into the third. One...
Article
Thousands of contest simulations under 7 conditions were conducted to assess the interaction of number of contestants, number of elimination rounds, amount of random judgment error, and the extent of seeding of good contestants. Results show that as number of contestants increased so did the importance of luck; structure made no noticeable differen...
Chapter
The essence of science is the detection and explanation of patterns. Physical scientists devote themselves to the detection and explanation of patterns of matter and energy. Biological scientists are concerned with patterns of life. And behavioral scientists are concerned with patterns of human behavior and experience. Despite the differences in su...
Chapter
Our task in writing this chapter is to outline a strategy for analyzing data that we believe to be better suited to most psychological research than the most widely used statistical techniques (e.g., t, F, and chi square tests, product moment correlation, regression, covariance, discriminant, and factor analyses). We call the strategy Ordinal Patte...
Article
Computers, like all other tools, inevitably create new problems as they are applied to solve existing ones. At least three of these problems are germane to psychology: the use of computers for ulterior purposes, the proliferation of informational waste, and the erosion of ignorance as an excuse for misconduct. Such problems created by computer solu...
Article
Many social psychological phenomena exhibit convergent amplification, i.e., homeostatic or error-cancelling tendencies, the results of which can be studied by currently popular research and statistical methods. We argue, however, that at least as many social psychological phenomena exhibit divergent amplification, i.e., heteromorphic or catalytic t...
Article
Full-text available
This article examines decision making in living systems at the level of the organism. Ten simple decision rules, or heuristics, were implemented as computer subroutines in a simulation program designed to determine how often each would select alternatives with highest-through-lowest expected value in a series of randomly generated decision situatio...
Article
In 2 experiments 70 male and female and 89 female undergraduates were required to observe and predict the behavior of a hypothetical "chooser" who made choices for him- or herself and for a hypothetical other in a series of decomposed games. The preference for outcomes, or social motivational orientation, of the chooser was preprogramed and varied...
Article
Full-text available
This is the Cybernetics and Stuff That covered Chaotic Confusion and Bluff That hung on the Turn of a Plausible Phrase And Thickened the Erudite Verbal Haze Cloaking Constant K That saved the Summary Based on the Mummery Hiding the Flaw That lay in the theory Jack built. (Winsor & Parry, 1958, Poem 30)
Article
It is proposed that social psychological research can be justified in at least two complementary ways: First, as an attempt to reduce ignorance; second, as an attempt to reduce arrogance. Problems of the first and prospects for the second are discussed, and their implications for applied social psychology are stressed.
Article
It is argued that the role of thought in social interaction has been overstressed. In view of the cost of thought and the redundancy of social interaction, it is argued that habit is a much more common determinant of social behaviour than cognition. Implications are discussed.
Chapter
About a quarter of a century ago Edmund Whittaker (1949) wrote a fascinating series of lectures on the history and implications of recent developments in theoretical physics. Almost parenthetically, he outlined therein a means of viewing scientific progress which is at once both unorthodox and profound. It is a means founded on what Whittaker terms...
Article
Critically examines the currently popular belief that social behavior is governed by invariant processes. The literature is reviewed, and evidence is presented indicating that processes vary considerably and unpredictably. It is proposed that the most valid conceptions of social behavior are those that characterize it as having local organization a...
Article
Includes a commentary: "Chance models and types of hypotheses in evidential statistics" by Alexander von Eye. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Three experiments were conducted to demonstrate the role of relative gain (the difference between a subject's score and that of another subject) as opposed to individual gain maximization processes in experimental two-person, two-choice games. In addition to demonstrating that relative gain maximization is an important goal in such situations, it i...

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Projects (3)
Project
Produce a special issue of "Sustainable Earth", SpringerNature. This interdisciplinary article collection focuses on the intersection of four main areas: Experiential learning, sustainability (including climate change), the Earth and ethics. Learning is a relatively new concern in sustainability. Much attention has been given to sustainability education, especially in tertiary education, but rather less on how people learn about sustainability and learn to become sustainable, especially from experience. Sustainability has traditionally been defined with three pillars: social, environmental, economic. We seem to have forgotten a fourth pillar, learning, without which none of the other three could ever constitute a solid element in sustainability. The objective of this article collection is to examine and improve the learning of sustainability; it is to build, as it were, a fully sustainable concept of sustainability. It is to develop and broaden the realization that learning is a crucial component of sustainability and to make explicit the practice of learning in sustainability for sustainability. If the world (people, institutions, education, science, organizations, professional associations, research, industry, governments, etc.) pays insufficient attention to this pillar of learning, then sustainability will at best simply hobble along, at worst wither and even die, taking humanity with it. We wish to examine how people and communities typically learn about sustainability, learn to become and be sustainable, learn to help others learn, learn about helping others learn, sustainability. We wish to examine, make explicit and improve what it is to learn sustainability – as a way of life, as second nature, just as we learn language, culture and maths, often from direct or vicarious experience. We welcome articles from ordinary citizens, scientists, trainers, citizen scientists and learners, especially those who have learned from their experience of the Earth (e.g., through floods, adventure, tsunamis, exploration, earthquakes, field work, rescue missions, professional work, disasters, organizational work, travel, etc). A wide range of structured experiential learning types is relevant, such as debriefing, simulations, Companion Modelling, role-play, internships, field trips, games, museums, school outings, activism, voluntary work, conferences, project work, etc. Key themes: • Learning and sustainability • Experience and learning for a sustainable Earth • Experiential learning for sustainability • Ethical dimensions of experiential learning for sustainability • Processing experience of the Earth to turn it into learning sustainability Please consider submitting an article proposal if you: • Are a sustainability or climate change workshop facilitator; • Are concerned or even passionate about making the Earth sustainable; • Are learning, or helping others to learn, about sustainability; • Consider that experience is an important way in which people learn sustainability; • Consider ethics to be important in learning (about) sustainability; • Are an environmental educator, using participatory learning methods; • Have a story to tell about helping the Earth to become more sustainable; or • Would like to share your own learning experience in sustainability. https://e4l-jrnl.weebly.com/cfp-se-long.html https://www.biomedcentral.com/collections/ls
Project
We spend most of our life trying to solve problems, but to do so takes time, and time is a finite and nonrenewable resource. In addition, solutions often create new problems, adding more to our to do lists. What are the means we employ to allocate our time to our problems, and what are the consequences of these choices?