Colloquium with Dr. Hyowon Geon

Thursday February 29, 2024
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM


Dr. Hyowon Geon, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology at Stanford University


Thinking, learning, and communicating about the world and about the self.


Humans are not the only species that learns from others, but only humans learn and communicate in rich, diverse social contexts. What makes human social learning so distinctive, powerful, and smart?  I will first introduce the idea that human social learning is inferential at its core; even young children learn from others by drawing rich inferences from others’ behaviors, and can help others learn by generating evidence tailored to others’ goals and knowledge. I will then present more recent work that extends this idea to understand how young children think, learn, and communicate about the self. Moving beyond the characterization of children as scientists who explore and learn about the external world, these results demonstrate how early-emerging social intelligence supports thinking, learning, and communicating about oneself as an agent within that world.


Dr. Hyowon (Hyo) Gweon (she/her) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Stanford University. As a leader of the Social Learning Lab, Dr. Hyo is broadly interested in how humans learn from others and help others learn: What makes human social learning so powerful, smart, and distinctive? Taking an interdisciplinary approach that combines developmental, computational, and neuroimaging methods, her research aims to explain the cognitive underpinnings of distinctively human learning, communication, and prosocial behaviors. Dr. Hyo received her Ph.D. in Cognitive Science (2012) from MIT, where she continued as a post-doc before joining Stanford in 2014.

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Annually the Department of Psychology hosts a Colloquia Series throughout the academic year. This exciting program brings us together outside of the classroom to have conversations with the speakers we’ve invited to our campus to share their ideas. You’ll have the chance to hear from international speakers on a wide range of provocative topics.