Courses a.y. 2021/2022
My research investigates how social, linguistic, and technological factors influence processes of collective cognition, and how these processes then affect organizational and market outcomes. I am especially interested in tracing how attributes of a social system can condition patterns of social interaction that then aggregate up into consequential system-level cognitive dynamics. My research builds on the fundamental premise that cognition exists not only inside the brains of people, but also exists across the interactions that people have with each other and with artifacts in their environment. I trace these patterns of collective cognition in collectives ranging from small groups such as mountaineering expedition teams to large-scale social systems such as online platforms, markets, and scientific disciplines.
By taking advantage of recent advances in computational tools and big data sources of textual and behavioral data, I theorize and empirically trace how the structure of language and the structure of information environments condition the way collectives problem-solve, generate new knowledge, navigate conceptual space, innovate, evaluate, judge, distribute attention, represent, perceive, and interpret. Much of my research then proceeds to trace how these collective-level cognitive processes impact group, organization, and market outcomes. In so doing, my research bridges multiple disciplinary domains, including organization theory, economic sociology, linguistics, cognitive science, and information theory. By bridging these domains of scientific work, I aim to bring a dynamic and interactional lens to the study of organizational and economic life.
Assistant Professor (since 09/2018)
Collective Cognition - Sociology of Language - Social Valuation - Social Influence - Group Performance - Teams - Structure of Knowledge and Expertise - Creativity - Decision-Making
Evans, James A., and Pedro Aceves. 2016. “Machine Translation: Mining Text for Social Theory.” Annual Review of Sociology.