Photo Credit: Andrew Miller / BEworks
Current Roles / Background
I am a Professor of Creativity and Creative Thinking at Sheridan College, specializing in cognitive psychology. In addition, I am a Scientific Advisor at BEworks, the world’s first consulting firm dedicated to using behavioural science to solve business and policy challenges, which seeks to “transform society and the economy through scientific thinking”. BEworks is a member of kyu, a collective whose “purpose is to be a source of creativity which propels the economy and society forward.”.
Prior to my current posts, I earned my BA, MA, and PhD in Psychology from the University of Waterloo, primarily working within the Reasoning and Decision Making Lab (Dr. Jonathan Fugelsang). I held a postdoctoral fellowship in the Vision and Attention Lab (Dr. Daniel Smilek), also at the University of Waterloo, where I conducted applied research for the Bank of Canada.
Research and Writing
I have research interests in the psychology of creativity, reasoning, belief, the intersection of technology and thinking, and applied behavioural science. I have received research funding to tackle social innovation and misinformation through behavioural science and creativity, and have published scientific articles, book chapters, and popular press articles related to these themes, including the cognition of creativity, human reason in the Anthropocene, the reception and detection of pseudo-profound bullshit, how people offload thinking to technology, the way human and artificial intelligence align in the workforce, and the psychology of working from home, to name a few. My work has been covered extensively in the media, including top outlets like Scientific American, and The Washington Post, and I frequently act as an expert commentator for print, radio, and television.
I’ve taught courses on creativity, psychology, cognition, memory, and neuroscience and won a number of teaching awards. At Sheridan College, my primary focus is developing and teaching courses within the Board Undergraduate Certificate in Creativity and Creative Problem Solving, which aims to provide “an opportunity for every degree student to gain a deliberate set of 21st century creative thinking skills and creative problem solving competencies”.
I frequently deliver talks and workshops to diverse audiences on the nature of our minds and how to make the most of them. My speaking draws on my research, teaching, and consulting expertise on human cognition and behavioural science, while weaving in personal experiences and storytelling. Recurrent themes include connecting global challenges in the Anthropocene to human reason and creativity, how understanding human cognition can improve performance, and how behavioural science can be applied to solve diverse challenges. Past engagements include Beakerhead Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival Industry Conference, and C2 Montreal, and a wide array of other educational and industry events.