Psychology

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.

What Is Lost in a World Where We Cannot Touch?

May 04, 2020
During this period of social distancing, what sort of void has been created? In our social lives, touches are often subtle and brief – a quick handshake or hug. Yet it seems as though these brief encounters contribute mightily to our emotional well-being.

Two Faculty Honored for Contributions to Science of Psychology

January 31, 2020
Two faculty in the Department of Psychology — Professor Paul Hastings and Associate Professor Eliza Bliss-Moreau — have been named fellows of the Association for Psychological Science (APS). Hastings and Bliss-Moreau are among 51 psychologists in the newest class of APS fellows, selected for “sustained outstanding contributions to the science of psychology in the areas of research, teaching, service, and/or application.”

Can You Change Your Personality? Scientists Say ‘Maybe’

December 12, 2019
It has long been believed that people can’t change their personalities, which are largely stable and inherited. But a review of recent research in personality science points to the possibility that personality traits can change through persistent intervention and major life events.

How Groups Make Up Their Minds

December 10, 2019
The choices we make in large group settings, such as in online forums and social media, might seem fairly automatic. But our decision-making process is more complicated than we know. So, researchers at the University of Washington and UC Davis have been working to understand what’s behind that seemingly intuitive process. The research has discovered that in large groups of essentially anonymous members, people make choices based on a model of the “mind of the group” and an evolving simulation of how a choice will affect that theorized mind.