Patrick Sweeney


Patrick Sweeney is a PhD candidate in Critical Social/Personality Psychology and the Digital Fellows Coordinator at The Graduate Center, CUNY.

His dissertation focuses on two controversies: psychographic targeting in the 2016 US presidential campaign, and social psychological studies of facial gaydar. These two case studies illustrate the how conflicts and anxieties surrounding the use of personal digital data in research, propaganda, and marketing are animated by the historical development of methods for understanding social categories as well as ongoing debates about research ethics, the nature of persons, and technology.

He has published on topics including the ethics of social media data in psychological research, media representations of social identities and urban change after trauma, and the theory and praxis of ethics and methods pedagogy. His interests include the history and future of psychology, science and technology studies, and the digital humanities.

As a GC Digital Fellow, he has directed the development and administration of GC Digital Initiatives’ workshop series, and created curricula and open educational resources for topics including Digital Research Ethics, Social Media for Academics, HTML/CSS, and Git & GitHub. He is currently the Digital Fellows Coordinator, leading a team of 10 Fellows who operate as an in-house think-and-do tank that integrates creative and critical uses of technology into the research, teaching, and service mission of the institution. He is also curating a seminar and workshop series on Researching Social Media that will launch in Spring 2019.


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