As with all defenses, it is a public event and everybody is welcome to join. Due to the restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak, the event will take place and be accessible via live-stream.
Human communication is intrinsically social, yet, it is unknown whether social characteristics of interlocutors influence how people comprehend and remember linguistic information shared by those interlocutors. A relevant aspect is whether people regard others as being members of their own social group (i.e., in-group member) or not (i.e., out-group member). People who are students at the same university, or who have the same gender, can be considered to belong to the same social group. In her thesis, Sara Iacozza, explored whether people may treat language differently depending on the group membership status of the speaker.
Taken together, the results of her experiments suggest that people may store information in memory differently when listening to in-group speakers. However, such initial differences may not depend on the allocation of extra attention, and they may not affect how easily people comprehend newly learned words in the future.