PhD Proposal by Joel Mumma

Event Details
  • Date/Time:
    • Wednesday October 31, 2018 - Thursday November 1, 2018
      12:00 pm - 1:59 pm
  • Location: J.S. Coon bldg. room 252
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Summary Sentence: Understanding the Perceptual Segmentation of Situations via Event Segmentation Theory

Full Summary: No summary paragraph submitted.

Name: Joel Mumma

Dissertation Proposal Defense Meeting

Date: Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Time: 12:00pm

Location: J.S. Coon bldg. room 252



Frank Durso, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech)


Dissertation Committee Members:

Rick Thomas, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech)

Jamie Gorman, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech)

Howard Weiss, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech)

Joseph Magliano, Ph.D. (Georgia State University)


Title: Understanding the Perceptual Segmentation of Situations via Event Segmentation Theory


Summary: Parsing the daily stream of activity into situations is essential for adaptive functioning in everyday life. The present studies will utilize the framework of Event Segmentation Theory (Zacks, Speer, Swallow, Braver, & Reynolds, 2007) to examine two issues related to the perceptual segmentation of ongoing activity into situations: 1) What must change in a situation for one to perceive that a new situation has begun and 2) how does our representation of the situation remain stable despite the fact that changes occur within a situation?


Regarding the first issue, research on experienced situations (e.g., in social and personality psychology) and described or depicted situations (e.g., in narrative comprehension) both recognize that our representations of situations reflect specific features of situations (i.e., “situation cues,” such as who is present and where they are present), but research in social and personality psychology suggests that our representations also reflect the general characteristics of the situation (e.g., how positive, social, or adverse a situation is). However, it is largely unknown how changes in cues and characteristics relate to each other and to the perception of the boundaries between situations. Experiments 1 and 2 will explore the dimensions of situations (i.e., cues or characteristics) that must change in order for one to perceive that a new situation has begun. On the other hand, Experiments 3 and 4 will address the issue of why it is that our representation of a situation remains stable despite the fact that events are simultaneously unfolding at finer-grained timescales. In line with the cognitive mechanisms posited by Event Segmentation Theory, it is hypothesized that differences in the predictive accuracy of our representations of situations and finer-grained events underlies the differential stability of these representations.

Additional Information

In Campus Calendar

Graduate Studies

Invited Audience
Public, Graduate students, Undergraduate students
Phd proposal
  • Created By: Tatianna Richardson
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Oct 19, 2018 - 8:30am
  • Last Updated: Oct 19, 2018 - 8:30am