Psychology

Faculty Honored by Campus Peers for Research, Teaching Excellence

March 31, 2021
Seven College of Letters and Science faculty are among 16 UC Davis scholars honored by the Academic Senate and Academic Federation this year. The Academic Senate’s highest honor, the Faculty Distinguished Research Award, goes to Gail Goodman, distinguished professor of psychology.

Making Decisions Based on How We Feel About Memories, Not Accuracy

March 10, 2021

When we recall a memory, we retrieve specific details about it: where, when, with whom. But we often also experience a vivid feeling of remembering the event, sometimes almost reliving it. Memory researchers call these processes objective and subjective memory, respectively. A new study from the Center for Mind and Brain at UC Davis shows that objective and subjective memory can function independently, involve different parts of the brain, and that people base their decisions on subjective memory — how they feel about a memory — more than on its accuracy.

5 College Faculty Join Ranks of Chancellor’s Fellows

February 09, 2021
Five early-career faculty members in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science are adding a new title after their names: Chancellor’s Fellow, in recognition of their outstanding work in academia. Each keeps the title for five years and receives $25,000 in philanthropic support for research or other scholarly work.

Is It Better to Give Than Receive?

December 04, 2020
Young children who have experienced compassionate love and empathy from their mothers may be more willing to turn thoughts into action by being generous to others, a UC Davis study suggests.

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.