Psychology

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.

How Do You Bounce Back After a Setback?

December 10, 2019
Why are people often only fleetingly happy about positive events, but persistently upset about negative events like setbacks? Alison Ledgerwood, behavioral scientist, professor of psychology and chancellor’s fellow at UC Davis, has conducted extensive research to understand this.

Detoured Student Offers Inspiration to Fellow Grads

December 09, 2019
Ellen Caminiti had a speech impediment as a child, was painfully shy when she started at UC Davis, wandered in her studies and was dismissed for poor academic performance. But the 24-year-old will stand center stage to share her journey and message of encouragement with more than 800 fellow graduates and thousands of guests at the fall commencement at 10 a.m. on Saturday in the Pavilion at the ARC.

Q&A: Ron Mangun and the Future of Mind and Brain Science

October 28, 2019
When George “Ron” Mangun led a campuswide effort to launch the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain in 2002, he declared, “This is the most exciting time in mind and brain research in human history.” In an interview, Mangun talks about becoming the center's director for a second time and the even greater potential for mind and brain breakthroughs today.

‘Earworms’ Research Will Help Reveal Link Between Memories and Music

September 25, 2019

“Earworms” are those fragments of songs that get stuck on repeat in your head. While earworms are often frustrating, repeated exposure to catchy tunes can also trigger old memories, even in people whose memory skills are impaired by Alzheimer’s disease or other cognitive disorders.