Elisabeth Oberzaucher studied zoology at the Universities of Vienna and Würzburg. She received her PhD in anthropology, specializing in human behavior. Her research focuses on human-environment interactions, nonverbal communication, and evolutionary gender studies. The evolutionary framework that led to the development of human universal, gender-typical, as well as individually distinct patterns in perception, cognition, and behavior provide the framework for her research activities. She teaches at the University of Vienna, directs the Urban Human Research Institute, and holds a visiting professorship at the University of Ulm. She is president of the International Society for Human Ethology, and a member of Science Busters.
Keynote: “The limits of our gut feeling – the necessity of data for understanding the world”
The cognitive algorithms we use to solve everyday problems are results of our evolutionary history. They evolved to enable us to decide quickly in situations that required immediate response. The cognitive and behavioral challenges we face today are increasingly complex and removed from the selection pressures under which said cognitive algorithms evolved. Therefore our intuition is not a very competent advisor in our everyday life today. We will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of human cognitive algorithms and highlight the importance to complement them with higher-level cognition, but also scientific investigations in order to avoid the most common pitfalls of relying on intuition alone.
Thu. May 19 | 2:10 pm – Keynote: “The limits of our gut feeling – the necessity of data for understanding the world”