Light it up!

From Empire State Building to the Sydney Opera House, iconic landmarks around the world are shining blue at night in honor of the sixth annual United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day. “Light It Up Blue” is a global-initiative lead by Autism Speaks and spans throughout April as part of Autism Awareness Month. There …

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The anti-inflammatory effects of music


Can music help us heal?

The first piece of research evidence that turned me on to my field was a finding presented in a Health Psychology course as an undergraduate.  Researchers found that after surgery, patients healed faster, and were released from the hospital sooner, if they had a window that looked out on to …

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What is Sleep Health?

We all know what poor sleep looks like (see: zombie apocalypse), but do we have a good understanding of what healthy sleep is? Most psychological and medical research on sleep has been focused on sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea, but healthy sleep is not necessarily the absence of these disorders. Since …

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How does the brain support parent-child attachment?


Experiences early in life, when infants are highly dependent on their caregivers, can have profound effects on the brain. Research has shown that even young infants quickly learn the special relevance of their caregiver. For example, infants prefer their caregivers to strangers, learn to stay close to their caregivers, and are soothed by …

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Outreach Event: Brain Awareness Week!

Psychology in Action’s Outreach Program got brainy Friday, March 7th… that is, participated in an early Brain Awareness Week event! Thanks to a connection by member Irene Tung, outreach coordinators Nicco Reggente and Jenna Cummings arranged for graduate students to teach kids at Project Literacy about the brain: what it weighs, how it …

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Communicating the Value of Research: A Two-Way Street

Seven months ago I found myself seated across the table from a dear friend at a small restaurant in Eugene, Oregon, mere weeks from the start of my graduate career. Over dinner and a few drinks, we got to talking about the enormity of this undertaking, exploring all of the parts associated with finally going …

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Family Life for Working Parents: Is the home a haven or a source of stress?

Human beings are social by nature, and it is fascinating that the way we interact with each other has a profound impact on both psychological and physical health. Stephen Lepore & Tracey Revenson captured this sentiment well by stating that “social relationships are often a complicated brew of interactions that are at turns …

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Python for the Social Sciences: Toolkit Essentials


Why Py? Why should psychologists, or social scientists more generally, care about programming? The fact is anyone who uses softwares for data analysis relies on programming and many wonderful tools exist to give researchers improved control over their data for more efficient workflow. Although learning programming may seem an insurmountable task, with …

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Psychological Skills: Changing your Emotions – An Intro to Cognitive Reappraisal


A longtime friend of mine (names withheld for privacy), who now works as a writer for a very famous game company, recently told me about how he got his first job there.

“So when I first applied, I submitted a bunch of material for them to evaluate. They knew that I had some outside  experience …

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Acute vs. Chronic Stress: Can it ever be both?

In the field of health psychology, there is still much debate as to what constitutes an acute stressor versus a chronic stressor. The importance of this clarification is crucial for researchers in this field, because stress is a key factor in many areas of research including coping processes, health behavior, disease progression, …

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