Nick Byrd (nbyrd)

Nick Byrd

Assistant Professor

School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

Education

  • PhD (2020) Florida State University (Philosophy)
  • Other (2019) Florida State University (Preparing Future Faculty – Graduate Certificate)
  • MA (2014) University of Colorado, Boulder (Philosophy)
  • Other (2013) University of Colorado at Boulder (Cognitive Science – Graduate Certificate)
  • BA (2009) Palm Beach Atlantic University (Philosophy)
  • Other (2009) Palm Beach Atlantic University (Biblical Studies – Minor)

Research

Dr. Byrd employs science and technology to understand (how to improve) thinking (in individuals and groups).

Areas of specialization: decision science, judgment and decision-making, experimental philosophy, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, applied ethics

Research topics: intuition, reflection, critical thinking, (de)polarization, (de)bias(ing), rationality, morality, religion, politics, well-being, digital technology

General Information

Byrd’s research, teaching, and broader impacts focus on real-life reasoning errors that undermine our goals, develops methods to understand the mechanisms of our errors, tests methods for overcoming our errors, trains the next generation of decision-makers to use the successful methods, and generally champions clear, cogent, and concise argumentation.

Experience

Dr. Byrd has been a Principal Investigator (PI) on research supported by over $500,000 in external funding since graduate school, a co-PI on educational projects supported by over $25,000 in external funding, partnered with multiple startups to develop research and industry services, and reached over 300,000 people from 195 countries via their website (which includes a podcast, blog, and more).

Institutional Service

  • Ad Hoc Research Presentation Group Member
  • Search for Assistant Professor of Quantitative Social Science Member

Professional Service

  • American Philosophical Association's Ad Hoc Committee On Virtual Meetings (Member)
  • Brains (Co-managing Editor)
  • Archives of Sexual Behavior, Erkenntnis, 57th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Journal of the American Philosophical Association, Philosophical Psychology, PLOS ONE, Society for Philosophy and Psychology (Peer reviewing in 2023)
  • American Philosophical Quarterly, Cognition, Ergo, Erkenntnis, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Intelligence and National Security, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy, Palgrave Macmillan, Philosophy, Review of Philosophy and Psychology, Society for Judgment and Decision-making (student poster competition), Synthese, Theoria, WIRES Cognitive Science (Peer reviewing in 2022)
  • Archives of Sexual Behavior, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Bloomsbury’s Experimental Philosophy of Medicine volume of Advances in Experimental Philosophy series, Educational Research and Reviews, Ergo, Erkenntnis, National Science Foundation, Philosophical Psychology, Philosophies, Review of Philosophy and Psychology, Synthese, WIRES Cognitive Science (Reviewer)

Consulting Service

2022 – 2024 | Testing the effectiveness of moving the American Philosophical Association's annual conferences online.

2023 | DARPA's AI Forward Summer Workshop, Synthesis, and DARPAConnect meetings to "reimagine the future of AI for National Security".

2022 | About using Entertainment Education to help children learn about well-being and cognitive science. Renée Crown Wellness Institute at University of Colorado, Boulder. PI: Samuel Hubley.

2021 | About how to encourage and measure reflective reasoning among research participants. John Templeton Funded project “Humble Self-reliance in Reasoning and Belief”. PIs: James Beebe, Jonathan Matheson, and Joshua Wilt.

2021 | About testing whether philosophy coursework improves critical thinking abilities. Thomas Metcalf. Spring Hill College Philosophy Department.

Appointments

2021 – Present | Assistant Professor & Intelligence Community Fellow, Stevens Institute of Technology

2020 – 2021 | Fellow, Intelligence Community Research Fellowship Program, Carnegie Mellon University

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The Socrates Project (2021 – ). Chapkovski, P.; Khalil F.(programmers). Byrd N. (contributor). [Python, HTML, Vue, JavaScript]. github.com/chapkovski/socrates/tree/byrd
- Co-developed open source oTree web app designed to facilitate controlled essay- and chat-based reflective thinking under various incentive conditions.
- The platform facilitates both intervention (via writing or discussion-based reflection) and process tracing (via decision transcripts).
- Initial results indicated that improving a faulty decision (pre- vs. post-intervention) was multiple times more likely when reflecting with another participant who disagrees than when reflecting alone, regardless of financial incentives (Cullen, Byrd et al., in prep.; Byrd & Chapkovksi, in prep.).

Phonic.ai. (2020 – ). Beautiful Surveys With Built-In Voice and Video Recording.
- Recommended and tested features for the beta version of one of the first survey platforms dedicated to audio and video interaction.
- The platform allows for unprecedented scale of think-aloud protocol analysis (by allowing a researcher to record many decision-makers' thinking processes simultaneously online).
- Initial results replicated results of legacy, higher-cost, in-person think-aloud protocols and confirmed that most correct reflection test answers involve reflection and more lured answers lacked reflection, with 20-30% false positive and false negative rates (Byrd et al., 2023).

Honors and Awards

2023 | Early-Career Joint Neurophilosophy-Talks Competition winner: "The posterior alpha rhythm as a railroad switcher for the dorsoventral path" (co-presented with Ivano Triggiani)

2022 | Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) Ignite Off. Semi-finalist.

2022 | Advances in Decision Analysis conference. Best poster finalist.

2021 | Summer Seminar in Neuroscience and Philosophy (SSNAP) & Fellowship ($1000)

2020 | Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) Materials Grant ($250). Florida State University’s Center for Undergraduate Research & Academic Engagement.

2019 | 1st Place in Poster Competition ($150), Conference of Florida Graduate Schools.

2019 | Graduate Student Research and Creativity Award ($1,000), Florida State University

2017 | Dissertation Research Grant ($1000), Florida State University Graduate School

2009 | Outstanding Graduate of Philosophy, Palm Beach Atlantic University

Professional Societies

  • APA – American Philosophical Association Senior member
  • APA – American Psychological Association Member
  • SPSP – Society for Personality and Social Psychology Member
  • SPP – Society for Philosophy and Psychology Member
  • NRM – Network for Research on Morality Member
  • SSPP – Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology Member
  • APA – American Philosophical Association Member
  • ASPP – Australasian Society for Philosophy & Psychology Member

Grants, Contracts and Funds

2022 – 2024 “Religiosity & Reflection Across Cultures”. Pre-registered replication and extension of reflection-philosophy correlations. Part of the Experimental Philosophy of Religion project funded by the John Templeton Foundation. Co-PIs: Steve Stich & Justin Sytsma. ($246,403)

2020 – 2023 “Reducing Belief-Driven Thinking”. Part of the Intelligence Community Research Program via the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the US Department of Energy. Advised by Simon Cullen, Ashley Lytle, and Steven Rieber. ($297,000)

2022 – 2023 "Conscious Reflection Under Stress: Mitigating distress’s impact on decisions". Part of the "Fund Consciousness Research!" project funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation. Co-PI: Kalina Michalska ($22,287.48)

2021 – 2022 “A Beginner’s Guide to Neural Mechanism”. A free, online, introductory video series for teachers and students of philosophy, neuroscience, and their intersections via the Summer Seminar for Philosophy and Neuroscience funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation. Co-PIs: Zina Ward, Fabrizio Calzavarini, Raphael Gerraty, Shadab Tabatabaeian. ($30,000)

Selected Publications

Book Chapter

  1. Byrd, N. (2021). Online Conferences: Some History, Methods, and Benefits. Right Research: Modelling Sustainable Research Practices in the Anthropocene (pp. 435-462). Open Book Publishers.
    https://doi.org/10.11647/OBP.0213.28.
  2. Byrd, N. (2020). Causal Network Accounts of Ill-Being: Depression & Digital Well-Being. Ethics of Digital Well-Being: A Multidisciplinary Approach (pp. 221-245).
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-50585-1_11.

Journal Article

  1. Byrd, N.; Gongora, G.; Brianna, J.; Sirota, M. (2023). Tell Us What You Really Think: A think aloud protocol analysis of the verbal Cognitive Reflection Test. Journal of Intelligence (4 ed., vol. 11, pp. 1-17).
    https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence11040076.
  2. Byrd, N.; Thompson, M. K. (2022). Testing for implicit bias: Values, psychometrics, and science communication. WIREs Cognitive Science.
    https://doi.org/10.1002/wcs.1612.
  3. Byrd, N. (2022). Great Minds Do Not Think Alike: Differences In Philosophers’ Views Predicted By Reflection, Education, Personality, And Other Demographic Differences. Review of Philosophy & Psychology.
    http://doi.org/10.1007/s13164-022-00628-y.
  4. Byrd, N. (2022). Bounded Reflectivism & Epistemic Identity. Metaphilosophy (1 ed., vol. 53).
    https://doi.org/10.1111/meta.12534.
  5. Schwenkler, J.; Byrd, N.; Lambert, E.; Taylor, M. (2021). One – But Not the Same. Philosophical Studies.
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11098-021-01739-5.
  6. Byrd, N. (2021). Reflective Reasoning & Philosophy. Philosophy Compass. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
    https://doi.org/10.1111/phc3.12786.
  7. Byrd, N. (2021). On Second Thought, Libet-style Unreflective Intentions May Be Compatible With Free Will. Logoi (23 ed., vol. 39, pp. 17-28).
    https://revistasenlinea.saber.ucab.edu.ve/index.php/logoi/article/view/5025.
  8. Byrd, N.; Białek, M. (2021). Your Health vs. My Liberty: Philosophical beliefs dominated reflection and identifiable victim effects when predicting public health recommendation compliance. Cognition (vol. 212).
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2021.104649.
  9. Byrd, N.; Conway, P. (2019). Not all who ponder count costs: Arithmetic reflection predicts utilitarian tendencies, but logical reflection predicts both deontological and utilitarian tendencies. Cognition (vol. 192).
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2019.06.007.
  10. Byrd, N. (2019). What we can (and can’t) infer about implicit bias from debiasing experiments. Synthese (2 ed., vol. 198, pp. 1427-1455).
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-019-02128-6.

Courses

Philosophy of Mind
Ethical Issues in Science and Technology
Ethics of Business and Technology
Environmental Ethics
Introduction to Cognitive Science
Introduction to Philosophy
Logic