Outreach Event: Explore Your Universe!

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What was the first science experiment you ever conducted? When did you first think about thinking? Were you in awe the first time you saw an illusion?

Well, this past Sunday, Psychology in Action participated in UCLA’s annual Explore Your Universe Event – a scientific expo for the community to come and learn about the brain, …

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A New Direction in Autism Research: Google Cloud

Autism is everywhere and it is great! I’m not referring to the recent CDC estimate that 1 in 68 children in the U. S. are diagnosed with the disorder. Instead, I’m talking about its presence in the news. Most recently, I’ve read that the Vatican is holding an inaugural conference on autism, “The Person …

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The Defiant Optimism of Understanding

“If the brain were so simple we could understand it, we would be so simple we couldn’t.”

There are literally hundreds of these seemingly benign, brain-teasing quotes I could have picked. Hundreds of pithy sounding wisdoms taking stabs at poorly unpacked concepts that are given transcendent reverence because of their ethereal nature. Quotes on …

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Obscurantism: Lame explanations to the lame questions


“Indeed, the quantum theory implies that consciousness must exist, and that the content of the mind is the ultimate reality.” – some new-age mystic

Your intuition can fail you on what is genius and what is asinine. Good thinking strives almost as its prime directive, to clarify. It doesn’t mean a discussion you …

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Surrendering to Creativity: The Psychology of Remembering To Breathe (Part 2 of 3)


“Anxiety is the handmaiden of creativity.” - T.S. Eliot

What does it mean, for anxiety to be the handmaiden to creativity?  Reading this quote from T.S. Eliot, my mind wandered to think about Shae and Sansa.  For those less obsessed with George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones than me, Shae is Sansa Stark’s …

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Surrendering to Creativity; the Psychology of Remembering to Breathe (Part 1 of 3)

The author's dad, Yogaman Bill, letting go of anxiety and creating beauty on the beach.

“Work done with anxiety about results is far inferior to work done without such anxiety, in the calm of self-surrender…” ~ The Bhagavad-Gita, p. 41

            I stumbled upon this quote earlier this week, as I prepared data for analysis and fretted about whether I should submit a poster for …

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I’ll take one Lassie, no wait…make that an Air Bud


While those of us who own pets may like to think we picked our own special Fido because he was the friendliest dog at the shelter, recent research shows there may be some subliminal media forces at play.

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Hook, Line, and Thinker

“What is the grandmother statement?” My undergraduate thesis advisor used to ask this a lot during lab meetings. He emphasized that psychological research should be presented in a way such that anyone could effectively understand your research goals and findings without a great deal of scientific knowledge (i.e. the nonacademic community).

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New research: From Screen to Green: What happens to kids social skills when they go cold turkey on all media?

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The fact is we all stare at screens more than we would like and many of us rely on these tools to communicate with others, even during times when we should be spending quality time with our families and friends. So does all this time staring at screens, which may take time …

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The Significance of Impression Formation: Reinterpreting Early Social Psychology Findings Using Modern Stats

Table 2 was taken from the results of Experiments 1-3 published by Asch (1946) and used by me to test their statistical signficance

Solomon Asch may be best known in social psychology for his 1951 Conformity Studies in which he brought participants into a room with seven confederates—actors pretending to be other participants—and had them recount the length of a line.  Before demonstrating that normative pressure can lead people to lie, Asch was one of the foremost researchers …

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