Learn More About Jeff Hancock
The proliferation of social media in our daily lives has transformed the way we communicate – and it’s influencing everything, from how we deceive and trust one another, to our mental and emotional well-being. Jeff Hancock, Ph.D., is helping individuals and companies alike understand how, and why it matters.
A leading expert in social media behavior and the psychology of online interaction, Dr. Hancock studies the impact of social media and technology on self-esteem and relationships, deception and trust, how we form impressions of others and how we manage others’ impressions of ourselves, and more. His view isn’t that social media is good or bad, but that it amplifies everything – and we must learn to navigate the effects.
Dr. Hancock is a professor in the Department of Communication at Stanford University, co-director of the Stanford Cyber Policy Center, and senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute. He founded Stanford’s Social Media Lab and serves as director of Stanford’s Center for Computational Social Science. Under his leadership, a trailblazing team uses computer algorithms and social experiments to offer new insight into why and how we lie, and the role technology plays in shaping deception and trust.
His TED talk, The Future of Lying, has been viewed more than a million times, and he’s frequently called upon to speak to wide-ranging audiences, including insurance and accounting professionals, IT and security companies, and parent groups. While the context varies, concerns of a post-truth society and the need for expert guidance on how to think about truth and trust in the digital era are in high demand. Dr. Hancock also helps businesses manage reputation and trust issues; lectures on the impact of fake news, misinformation and media manipulation; and even helps people looking for love decode online dating profiles.
Hancock’s now famous Facebook Emotional Contagion study triggered a world-wide conversation about expectations and ethics in the digital age. After soliciting outrage from social media users by intentionally flooding their news feeds with negativity, Hancock’s study made it clear that when companies do not understand people’s simplified, and often misguided, beliefs about the nature of digital platforms – which he calls “folk theories” – the consequences can be disastrous.
An energetic and innovative lecturer, Dr. Hancock uses interactive and real-time analysis tools to involve audiences and measure what’s true or false. His engaging approach has resulted in several prestigious teaching awards, including the Rising Star Faculty Award from Cornell University, the Merrill Presidential Outstanding Educator Award, CALS Young Faculty Teaching Excellence Award and the SUNY Chancellors Award for Excellence in Teaching.
The New York Times, CNN, NPR, CBS and the BBC are among the many mainstream news outlets that seek Dr. Hancock’s expertise in social media and how technology mediates communication. His research has been published in more than 80 journal articles and conference meetings.
Before earning his Ph.D. in psychology from Dalhousie University in Canada, Dr. Hancock served as a customs officer in Canada. Prior to joining the Stanford faculty in 2015, he served as associate professor of cognitive science and communication at Cornell University.
Jeff Hancock is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers & Advisors, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.