Distinguished Faculty Lecture 2021–2022

Austin C. Archer, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology and Education:
Memory and Prophecy: Perspectives on changing minds

Sunday, November 7, 2021, 7 p.m. Walla Walla University Church.


Memory and Prophecy: Perspectives on changing minds

Recent world events have brought into focus the tenacity with which we hold on to our ways of thinking. It is often understood that our beliefs and attitudes are central not only to how we see others but to who we are. So what happens when people are faced with changing information? And why do settled opinions appear impervious to evidence? Can we really change our minds about some of our closest held beliefs?

Austin Archer, WWU professor of psychology and education, has long nurtured an academic curiosity regarding the cognitive processes involved with learning, memory, and decisionmaking. His recent publications reflect a broader interest in the philosophical and theological issues surrounding the nature of knowledge and of belief.

In his lecture, Archer will discuss the nature of mind, memory, and how and why people change their beliefs. A recently published study of people who experienced changes in their worldview highlights the growing academic interest in this area. He will address these questions, their link to apocalyptic prophecy, and their growing significance in our world of divided perspectives.

2020-2021
2020-2021 Dave Thomas, Professor of Practical Theology and Apologetics

2019-2020
Debbie Muthersbaugh, Professor of Education

2018-2019
Kari Firestone, Professor of Nursing

2017-2018
Pedrito Maynard-Reid, Professor of Theology

2016-2017
Paul Dybdahl, Professor of Theology

2015-2016
Kellie Bond, Associate Professor of English

2014-2015
Linda Emmerson, Assistant Professor of Philosophy

2013-2014
David Bullock, Professor of Communication

2012-2013
Karen Tetz, Professor of Nursing

2011-2012
Joseph G. Galusha Jr., Professor of Biology

2010-2011
Pamela Keele Cress, Professor of Social Work and Sociology

2009-2010
Thomas M. Thompson, Professor of Mathematics

2008-2009
Gregory D. Dodds, Associate Professor of History

2007-2008
Bruce C. Johanson. Professor of Biblical Studies

2006-2007
Jon A. Cole, Professor of Engineering

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Beverly G. Beem, Professor of English

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James R. Nestler, Professor of Biology

2003-2004
Alden L. Thompson, Professor of Biblical Studies

2002-2003
Kraig S. M. Scott, Associate Professor of Music

2001-2002
Douglas R. Clark, Professor of OT and Archaeology

2000-2001
Rodney Heisler, Professor of Engineering

1999-2000
C. Loren Dickinson, Professor of Communication

1998-1999
Roland R. Blaich, Professor of History

1997-1998
 Verlie Y. F. Ward, Professor of Education

1996-1997
Thomas J. Emmerson, Professor of Art

1995-1996
Claude C. Barnett, Professor of Physics

1994-1995
Terrie Dopp Aamodt, Professor of English and History

1993-1994
Ernie J. Bursey, Professor of Biblical Studies