Selected Publications

This article is a comparative study between predictive processing (PP, or predictive coding) and cognitive dissonance (CD) theory. The theory of CD, one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology, is shown to be highly compatible with recent developments in PP. This is particularly evident in the notion that both theories deal with strategies to reduce perceived error signals. However, reasons exist to update the theory of CD to one of “predictive dissonance.” First, the hierarchical PP framework can be helpful in understanding varying nested levels of CD. If dissonance arises from a cascade of downstream and lateral predictions and consequent prediction errors, dissonance can exist at a multitude of scales, all the way up from sensory perception to higher order cognitions. This helps understand the previously problematic dichotomy between “dissonant cognitive relations” and “dissonant psychological states,” which are part of the same perception-action process while still hierarchically distinct. Second, since PP is action-oriented, it can be read to support recent action-based models of CD. Third, PP can potentially help us understand the recently speculated evolutionary origins of CD. Here, the argument is that responses to CD can instill meta-learning which serves to prevent the overfitting of generative models to ephemeral local conditions. This can increase action-oriented ecological rationality and enhanced capabilities to interact with a rich landscape of affordances. The downside is that in today’s world where social institutions such as science a priori separate noise from signal, some reactions to predictive dissonance might propagate ecologically unsound (underfitted, confirmation-biased) mental models such as climate denialism.
In Front. Psychol., 2018

Recent Publications

. Concerns of Young Protesters are Justified. Science, 2019.

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Recent Posts

From clay tablets to digital ones, libraries have always evolved. But what’s next? Read my thoughts here in an article for The Conventions.

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Our letter “Concerns of Young Protesters are Justified” was published in Science. The letter can be read here and signed here.

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I wrote an article on climate strikes, experiential education and envrironmental activism. Read it online here at The Conventions.

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A couple of months ago I did my first podcast episode with Adam Robbert from The Side View. Give it a listen here.

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I wrote another essay for The Side View. This time, it’s on the phenomenology (cognition, perception and heuristics) of mushroom foraging. Read it online here!

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The Side View is a fascinating new multimedia platform edited by Adam Robbert. I wrote an essay for The Side View titled The Ecology of Design. Read it online here!

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Feeling inspired by an arts exhibition on magical realism, I wrote a piece on the need for imagination in environmental politics. Read it online here at The Conventions.

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Why aren’t we behaving sustainably despite our best intentions? Our behavioural environment requires “too much reading instructions and too little perceptual guidance” by well-designed affordances. My thoughts here at The Conventions.

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I have recently written two book reviews (A Mind at Play and Surfing Uncertainty) for The Conventions. Find them here, more to come soon!

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What do we mean when talking about “impact” in science or society? I wrote a critical analysis for the new online mag The Conventions. Read it online here, and follow The Conventions for more.

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