Faculty Research Symposium 

Social Sciences Faculty Research Symposium 

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The Social Sciences Faculty Research Symposium is a semesterly event designed to introduce attendees to a specific research topic, the scholarship of our faculty, and the process of social-science research, more generally. 



Looking Expensive: Experts’ Valuation of Paintings is Influenced by Context

Dr. Qin Li, Assistant Professor of Psychology

October 26, 2022 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Dr. Qin Li' s Biography

Video of recorded event to come


In this presentation, Dr.  Qin   Li  will present research on the valuation of paintings. Many factors influence the price of art work, with opinions of experts and the reputation of the artist weighing heavy on price outcomes. Few studies have focused on context as an influence on price despite its impacts on how people experience and evaluate art. Dr.  Li ’s research looks at key factors  li ke expertise and context to determine their influence on price. More specifically, Dr.  Li ’s research tests whether novices, quasi-experts, and experts price artwork differently if setting is manipulated, and it looks at how style and reputation of artwork affect their value. Contrary to expectations, Dr.  Li ’s research finds that experts are most influenced by setting manipulation when determining prices, despite their reported familiarity with the established paintings shown. Experts and quasi-experts are also more  li kely than novices to price paintings according to reputation. Dr.  Li ’s research also finds a significant three-way interaction between expertise, reputation, and style, whereby those with greater expertise are aptly influenced by reputation and style when pricing art. 

Juvenile Justice Policy Goals:  A Qualitative Inquiry into Purpose Clauses

Dr. Emily Pelletier, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, QCC-CUNY

March 9, 2022 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Dr. Emily Pelletier's Biography

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In this presentation, Dr. Emily Pelletier, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Queensborough Community College, will discuss juvenile justice systems across the US. While these systems have a common history of rehabilitative ideals and Constitutionally required due process protections, each state maintains the responsibility to create and amend state statutes governing its juvenile justice system. Differences among state statutes and statutory changes over time give rise to the inquiry of whether juvenile justice systems in the US hold similar goals and what these goals specifically entail. This presentation will identify thematic goals of state juvenile justice systems in the United States using data from a qualitative content analysis of the purpose clauses in state juvenile justice legal codes.


Weakening the Immigrant Children’s Rights During the Trump Administration

Dr. Gabriel Lataianu, Assistant Professor of Sociology, QCC-CUNY

October 20, 2021 12:10 PM - 1:00 PM

Dr. Gabriel Lataianu's Biography

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In this presentation, Dr. Gabriel Lataianu, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Queensborough Community College, will discuss the Trump administration's family separation policy and subsequently proposed Family Detention Centers. He will also shed light on how these policies bluntly violated the Flores Agreement, the most important legal act protecting immigrant children in the U.S., leaving thousands of immigrant children in legislative limbo as apprehended minors are protected neither by the U.S. Constitution nor the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (the U.S. being the only U.N. member that is not part of the Convention).


What Could a Robot Know About? The Discovery of the Mind in Language

Dr. Patrick Byers, Assistant Professor of Psychology, QCC-CUNY

March 17, 2021 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Dr. Patrick Byer's Biography

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The development of deep neural networks (DNNs) has significantly advanced artificial intelligence, with machines now able to carry out complex tasks that, in some cases, appear to exceed human ability. However, the underlying operation of DNNs is opaque (not readily interpretable), and—despite being generally reliable--prone to somewhat unpredictable and possibly serious errors. This has resulted in significant efforts to develop systems that can provide meaningful explanations of their functioning, so-called “explainable AI”. Such systems would account for their behavior like human beings do, i.e., in terms of reasons involving beliefs/knowledge, attitudes and/or desires. Discourse analysis work reveals profound challenges facing these efforts. Ascriptions of what others know/believe, think, feel or want have a clear meaning only in relation to certain assumptions about how people can be expected to behave (and not behave). These assumptions are prominently reflected in judgments about whether a person’s behavior reflects genuine understanding, or merely rote training. A number of recent cases of DNN behavior suggest that the assumptions in question do not hold for these systems.

Campus Cultural Centers

Kupferberg Holocaust Center exterior lit up at nightOpens in a new window
Kupferberg Holocaust Center Opens in a new window

The KHC uses the lessons of the Holocaust to educate current and future generations about the ramifications of unbridled prejudice, racism and stereotyping.

Russian Ballet performing at the Queensborough Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window
QPAC: Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window

QPAC is an invaluable entertainment company in this region with a growing national reputation. The arts at QPAC continues to play a vital role in transforming lives and building stronger communities.

Queensborough Art Gallery exterior in the afternoonOpens in a new window
QCC Art Gallery

The QCC Art Gallery of the City University of New York is a vital educational and cultural resource for Queensborough Community College, the Borough of Queens and the surrounding communities.