Emily Balcetis

Social psychologist Emily Balcetis explores perception, motivation, goal-setting and decision-making from conscious and nonconscious levels.

Why you should listen

The world around us often seems insurmountable, with all the cards stacked against us -- but as social psychologist Emily Balcetis seeks to show, it doesn't have to be that way. Through her research at New York University she explores how small differences in perception, whether conscious or nonconscious, can have potentially major consequences. For example, in a series of studies conducted in 2009 Balcetis helped show that people who saw Barack Obama as lighter skinned tended to report voting for him in the 2008 presidential election -- and vice versa.

Her current work focuses on how video evidence can bias jury members differently and how our vision can work against us when it comes to effective exercise. Balcetis' goal is to show that through our awareness of these biases, we can also overcome them, for an ever so slightly less daunting world.

Emily Balcetis’ TED talk