Dr. Ruth Mayo is an Associate Professor at the Psychology Dept., HUJI. Dr. Mayo received her B.A., M.A., and PhD from HUJI, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan. Additionally, she has received a number of distinguished academic awards and has published extensively in academic journals.
Ruth main research focus is on the effect of context on our mind, specifically regarding negation and falsification processes. To this day, the view that the human mind prioritizes congruency is at the core of psychology research regarding perception, processing, encoding, and memory, and accordingly is at the heart of the most basic psychological effects. Ruth studies the effect of the context of trust and distrust regarding our cognition, demonstrating that while in a trust mindset the primary process is of acceptance and a congruent flow of activation, in a distrust mindset the primary process is of rejection, falsification and incongruent flow of activation.
Ruth perceives the negation process as an essential part of the cognitive apparatus, thus studying this process enables a better understanding of our mind. In collaboration with colleagues and students, her main research explores diverse aspects of the negation process. Specifically, she proposes that the mind is capable of (a) successful negation and (b) spontaneous negation, and that (c) an extremely strong facet of the negation process is inhibition, which is capable of influencing memory. Accordingly, the study of negation sheds new light on both the information we process and the flexibility of our mind, either going with the flow (leading to priority of congruency) or moving in an opposite direction (leading to priority of the incongruence). Ruth’s research explores these possibilities and their implications.