Professor of Psychology, Harvard University
Steven Pinker is an experimental psychologist who conducts research in visual cognition, psycholinguistics, and social relations. He grew up in Montreal and earned his BA from McGill and his PhD from Harvard. Currently Johnstone Professor of Psychology at Harvard, he has also taught at Stanford and MIT. He has won numerous prizes for his research, his teaching, and his nine books, including The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, The Better Angels of Our Nature, The Sense of Style, and Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress.
We need to enact policies founded on solid research — more importantly, though, we have to stop suppressing research into hot topics.
The processes behind our ability to make decisions are complex, but they're not miracles.
Without expressing and evaluating ideas, we would never be able to determine what's right or wrong.
In practice, no one has ever developed a democracy that works particularly well if judged in absolute terms. But all the alternatives so far have been worse.
When we see problems in the world, we're quick to blame someone—anyone—who should be providing peace, love, and harmony. But the universe actually bends toward chaos and decay.
It might seem like humanity disagrees over basic values, but the data is in: we actually don't.
"The starting point for understanding inequality in the context of human progress is to recognize that income inequality is not a fundamental component of well-being."
Steven Pinker believes there's some interesting gender psychology at play when it comes to the robopocalypse. Could artificial intelligence become evil or are alpha male scientists just projecting?
If you want to understand trends in the history of global violence, look to data, not headlines, says Harvard psychology professor and linguist Steven Pinker.
Today's video is part of a series on genius, in proud collaboration with 92Y's 7 Days of Genius Festival.
Professor Steven Pinker illustrates how the study of linguistics can give us a rare window into the conscious mind.
In this selection from his Floating University lecture, Professor Steven Pinker deduces the nature of language acquisition by examining the generative use of grammar in children.
They both experiment with language, recombining words and phrases in novel ways. Steven Pinker explains how his studies in childhood linguistics try to shed light on linguistic creativity in general.
Psychologist Steven Pinker studies the interface between language and human computation, which he argues is the key to understanding human nature.
The experimental psychologist discusses the quest for understanding what makes us tick.
The experimental psychologist examines himself.
The experimental psychologist says not all problems have to have a moralistic solution.
Steven Pinker deconstructs the evolution of speech.
“You’re kind of unclear as to why this Leviathan would just be kind of a fascist dictator, as if that would be better than life in the state of anarchy.”
The experimental psychologist confronts the contradictions of moralists.
Steven Pinker’s personal philosophy is based on reason.
Evolutionary psychologist Steven Pinker’s strangely optimistic forecast.
Leaders can’t say that there’s something uniquely special about the United States because it’s the United States,
Pinker is a cautious optimist.
It’s important for universities to embrace new ideas.
Steven Pinker see our greatest challenges as overcoming the obstacles to secular enlightenment in many parts of the world.
Synthesizing ideas really depends on having a universe of ideas to recombine in the first place, says Steven Pinker.
Cracking the almighty verb.