Psychology Day 2015

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Friday, April 24th.

All alumni are invited to attend Psychology Day. For more information on Psychology Day, contact Kelly Davis at 573-884-6277 or

During the day, undergraduate honors students and graduate students present findings from their research, as well as meet with our featured alumni speaker. The day ends with an alumnus talk and a departmental reception.

Featured speaker for 2015 is James A. Shepperd, Ph.D.

Dr. Shepperd received his bachelors degree in Psychology from Southwestern University in 1983, his M.A. in Educational Psychology from the University of Texas in 1985, and his Ph.D. in social psychology from MU in 1988. Dr. Shepperd is currently the R. David Thomas Endowed Legislative Professor of Psychology at the University of Florida, where he has been on the faculty since 1992.

Dr. Shepperd's talk for Psychology Day is entitled: "Calculated Ignorance: Why People Avoid Information and What Should We Do About It."

Abstract: Although acquiring information can provide numerous benefits, people often opt to remain ignorant. In this talk I a) define information avoidance and distinguish it from other related phenomena, b) address various motivations that prompt information avoidance, c) describe situational factors that influence when people avoid information, and d) discuss interventions that decrease information avoidance. I will also present several studies, mostly concerning health, illustrating when and why people display information avoidance.