Psychology

Psychology of a Pandemic

Researchers study the social and emotional toll of sheltering in place, and ways people cope.

After COVID-19 precautions shut down the campus last spring  — and with it most UC Davis laboratories — psychology professors turned their research upside down and shifted focus, fast.

Social scientists, in particular Professor of Psychology Paul Hastings, recognized the unprecedented human “experiment” presented by the pandemic and global efforts to “bend the curve.”

Empathy May Be in the Eye of the Beholder

October 27, 2020
Do we always want people to show empathy? Not so, said researchers from the University of California, Davis. A recently published paper suggests that although empathy is often portrayed as a virtue, people who express empathy are not necessarily viewed favorably.

McDonnell Foundation Awards Inaugural Grants for Research on Infant-to-Adult Learning

October 16, 2020
Much of what scientists know about human learning, visual attention and memory comes from laboratory studies involving artificial tasks, like watching and recalling words or colored shapes flashed on a computer monitor. Two UC Davis research teams, with support from the James S. McDonnell Foundation, will study the development of learning in a wide range of ages — from infancy to young adulthood — in more naturalistic settings.

Brain Builds and Uses Maps of Social Networks, Physical Space, in the Same Way

July 22, 2020

Even in these social-distanced days, we keep in our heads a map of our relationships with other people: family, friends, co-workers, and how they relate to each other. New research from the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain shows that we put together this social map in much the same way that we assemble a map of physical places and things.

Insight Into Toddlers’ Awareness of Their Own Uncertainty

July 21, 2020

Toddlers may not be able to describe their feelings of uncertainty, but a new study from the Center for Mind and Brain at UC Davis provides evidence that toddlers may experience and deal with uncertainty in decision-making in the same way as older children and adults.

'Not My Type' May Be a Myth

July 09, 2020
New research coming out of Department of Psychology in the UC Davis College of Letters and Sciences suggests that people’s ideal romantic partner preferences do not reflect any unique personal insight.

Undergraduate Research Conference Goes Virtual

May 29, 2020
Undergraduate research provides students with skills that employers value, including critical thinking, collaboration and communication. One way students practice those skills is participating in the annual Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities Conference.

Psychology Professors Come to Remote-instruction Rescue

May 06, 2020
Even before the novel coronavirus shut down in-person classes at UC Davis this spring, two psychology faculty were stepping up to help colleagues, teaching assistants and students make the smoothest-possible jump to remote instruction.