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?

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 7.59.10 AM

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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East and West: Two Faces of Depression

East and West 1

“This post is co-written by Michael Sun and guest writer Rachel McCrystal, both authors contributed equally.”

Sam Davis* is a 20 year old sophomore at UCLA. He attends class every day, and by and large, Sam lives a relatively normal college student life. But lately, he has been weighed down by something

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Memory in the Mountains: How Cognitive Psychology Can Improve Rock Climbing



“You can never climb the same mountain twice, not even in memory. Memory rebuilds the mountain, changes the weather, retells the jokes, remakes all the moves.”

– Lito Tejada-Flores, Extreme Skiier, Climber and Author

            As Lito Tejada-Flores alludes, rock climbing and mountaineering depend as much on human memory …

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Rapid Reaction – The Suicide of Robin Williams

Robin Williams

  “This post is co-written by Michael Sun and guest writer Jordan Coello, M.A., both authors contributed equally.”       “O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done, The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won, The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all …

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E. coli, food, and mood: How toxins in food could affect not only your belly, but also your brain

Eisenberger figure 2010

It’s well-known that toxin-producing bacteria in food, such as E. coli, can affect your belly — often not for the better — but research by UCLA’s Naomi Eisenberger, Michael Irwin, and others now indicates that food toxins may influence your mood, as well.

In a study in which I am glad I was not a participant, …

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Snapshot of Symposium 2014: Criminally Minded – the Psychology and Law of Culpability

Here’s a walk down memory lane for those who made it to our 2014 annual interdisciplinary symposium in May, and a taste of it for those who didn’t make it. Enjoy!

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Awe: Why It’s Important, and How to Feel It

Google Earth Screen Shot

Have you ever gazed up at the starry sky and felt amazed by its vastness? Or have you looked over the abyss of the Grand Canyon and found your breath catch in your throat? If so, you probably felt awe, a “feeling of wonder and astonishment experienced in the presence of something novel and difficult to grasp” …

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What is color (in vision)?


Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

And you probably think

That the sky is blue too.

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