The Teen Sleep Epidemic: Biology and School Start Times

  “It’s too expensive to start the school day later.” “Extracurriculars will suffer if we start school later.” “We shouldn’t coddle teens by pushing school start times.” These are just some of the arguments against later school start times for teens. Although the public has become increasingly aware of the sleep deprivation epidemic among teens in the US, the cost and logistic difficulties associated with addressing the problem have stymied attempts at reform. But what…

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Outreach Event: Explore Your Universe 2016!

Leah Lessard

Leah is a graduate student in the Developmental Psychology department at UCLA and is a UCLA high school diversity project graduate researcher and the outreach coordinator for Psychology in Action. She is broadly interested in the socio-cognitive and cultural bases of achievement motivation and self-beliefs, particularly how identity maintenance and socialization interact to affect educational outcomes of minority youth.

What if you saw something, but it wasn’t really there? What if a still image suddenly started moving? Or, if a yellow box was actually brown? Kids and their families were fascinated by the display of visual illusions from the Psychology in Action (PIA) outreach team at UCLA’s 8th annual Explore Your Universe (EYU) science festival last week. With exciting science demos, fun activities and interesting talks, the event brought science to life for people…

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The benefits of multilingual education

Natsuki Atagi

Natsuki is a 5th year doctoral student in Developmental Psychology at UCLA. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Gender Studies at Indiana University and her M.A. in Developmental Psychology at UCLA. Her research examines how children's language experiences affect cognitive development. Natsuki is particularly interested in understanding how experience with one versus two (or more!) languages during childhood affects learning and conceptual development.

This November, California voters will vote on Prop 58 (also called Prop 58-LEARN [Language Education, Acquisition, and Readiness Now]; Senate Bill 1174). This bill, introduced by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), will bring back California parents’ option to choose multilingual education for their children. I will be upfront and disclose that—as a researcher of bilingual children’s language and cognitive development—I am fully in support of this bill. But my goal for writing this post is…

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Outreach Event: Demystifying the Graduate School Application Process!

Leah Lessard

Leah is a graduate student in the Developmental Psychology department at UCLA and is a UCLA high school diversity project graduate researcher and the outreach coordinator for Psychology in Action. She is broadly interested in the socio-cognitive and cultural bases of achievement motivation and self-beliefs, particularly how identity maintenance and socialization interact to affect educational outcomes of minority youth.

Navigating the graduate school application process can be a very overwhelming and stressful experience. Potential applicants are understandably faced with countless questions, such as: “How many schools should I apply to?” “When should I take the GREs?” “What should I include on my CV?” “How do I know if a professor is accepting students?” “When should I ask for letters of recommendation?” In order to alleviate some of the confusion associated application process, the PIA outreach team…

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The Role of Mind Wandering in Education

Stacy Shaw

Stacy Shaw

Stacy is a second-year graduate student in the developmental area with interests in mathematics and science learning, as well as creativity and divergent thinking. A former competitive public speaker and volunteer ambassador for the Chabot Space and Science Center, Stacy is also interested in scientific communication and open science. She received her bachelor’s degree from California State University, East Bay in human development, with minors in psychology and statistics.
Stacy Shaw

Latest posts by Stacy Shaw (see all)

It was a crisp spring morning in my high school English class as I took my seat near the window. At some point during class, I had noticed a flower blooming outside. My mind gently tracked away from the Grapes of Wrath discussion to the Biology lecture I had heard just hours before. Looking at that flower, I started thinking about the connection of water molecules in the plant, and then trailed off to think…

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Outreach Event: Brain Awareness Week 2016

Leah Lessard

Leah is a graduate student in the Developmental Psychology department at UCLA and is a UCLA high school diversity project graduate researcher and the outreach coordinator for Psychology in Action. She is broadly interested in the socio-cognitive and cultural bases of achievement motivation and self-beliefs, particularly how identity maintenance and socialization interact to affect educational outcomes of minority youth.

Sleep! Taste! Heart rate! Emotions! Memory! These were only a few of the winning performances by middle school students during Brain Charades, a Psychology in Action (PIA) led event during Brain Awareness Week. The PIA outreach team was on the frontlines, as middle school students battled it out in head-to-head competition – acting out various functions of the brain for their teammates to guess. Students played for the championship through several bonus rounds where they…

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Outreach Event: Explore Your Universe 2015!

Leah Lessard

Leah is a graduate student in the Developmental Psychology department at UCLA and is a UCLA high school diversity project graduate researcher and the outreach coordinator for Psychology in Action. She is broadly interested in the socio-cognitive and cultural bases of achievement motivation and self-beliefs, particularly how identity maintenance and socialization interact to affect educational outcomes of minority youth.

Imagine your watching your favorite sport, and a gorilla walks right through the game. Think you would notice it? Think again. This exemplar of our selective attention was just one of the many beliefs flipped on its head by members of the Psychology in Action (PIA) outreach team at last Sunday’s 7th annual UCLA Explore Your Universe (EYU) event. As one of the largest science outreach events in all of southern California, the event sought…

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5 Reasons You Should Make Time to Read Fiction (Especially Harry Potter)

Mona Moieni

Mona Moieni

Mona is currently a PhD student in UCLA's psychology program, working primarily with Dr. Naomi Eisenberger. Her research focuses on understanding interactions between biological and social psychological processes, as well as how these relationships may be relevant to health and aging. When she's not working (and sometimes even when she is), Mona can be found reading the NY Times, re-watching TV shows and movies she loves, indulging her sweet tooth, and drinking a lot of Earl Grey tea.
Mona Moieni

In true Hermione Granger bookworm fashion, I grew up reading as many books as I could get my hands on. I didn’t consider a summer complete unless I had checked off a long list of “to read” books. But, as schedules got busier and lazy summer days became nonexistent, I watched reading for pleasure take a backseat in my life. If you’ve also found this to be the case, here are some reasons to reconsider…

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Parenting in the Digital Age: Q&A with Yalda Uhls

Joey Ka-Yee Essoe

Ph.D. Student Researcher at Rissman Memory Lab, UCLA
Joey is a graduate student of Behavioural Neuroscience in UCLA, minors in Cognitive psychology and Quantitative Psychology. She is trained in simultaneously EEG/fMRI, behavioural experimentation utilising virtual reality (VR), including virtual world development and logistical interfaces between VR and statistical software. She is now expanding to fMRI compatible paradigms, fMRI MVPA analyses, and advanced statistical modelling.

She grew up in Hong Kong under English rule (please do pardon her spelling), then spent half her life living and loving San Francisco. Now in Los Angeles, she is a member of University Bible Church and the Rissman Memory Laboratory.

Joey served as Blog Master of Psychology in Action since January 2013, and has served as her President since 2014.

http://www.jessoe.com

About this Q&A Interview We are proud to secure an exclusive interview with Yalda T. Uhls, MBA, PhD — a child psychologist researcher and leading expert in how media affects children. She is a former Psychology in Action president and our most prolific blogger. Yalda continues to research with UCLA while serving as as director of Creative Community Partnerships at Common Sense Media, a national non-profit. Most importantly, Yalda is a mom of two digital teens (a boy and a girl), which is also the topic of…

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The Power of Social Belonging

Mona Moieni

Mona Moieni

Mona is currently a PhD student in UCLA's psychology program, working primarily with Dr. Naomi Eisenberger. Her research focuses on understanding interactions between biological and social psychological processes, as well as how these relationships may be relevant to health and aging. When she's not working (and sometimes even when she is), Mona can be found reading the NY Times, re-watching TV shows and movies she loves, indulging her sweet tooth, and drinking a lot of Earl Grey tea.
Mona Moieni

In his final novel, Kurt Vonnegut wrote: “Many people need desperately to receive this message: ‘I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about…You are not alone.’” Vonnegut’s thoughts nicely tap into a psychological theory called “the need to belong,” which proposes that people’s sense of social belonging, or their sense that they have good relationships with others, is a fundamental human need. That is, having solid…

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Bewonderment: Awe and other stupefying things

“The atoms of our bodies are traceable to stars that manufactured them in their cores and exploded these enriched ingredients across our galaxy, billions of years ago. For this reason, we are biologically connected to every other living thing in the world. We are chemically connected to all molecules on Earth. And we are atomically connected to all atoms in the universe. We are not figuratively, but literally stardust.” -Neil DeGrasse Tyson I distrust wonder…

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Outreach Event: Thought Suppression vs. Mindfulness!

Jenna Cummings

Jenna is a doctoral student in the Health Psychology department at UCLA. Her program of research crosses work on eating and alcohol use while exploring topics like reward, reinforcement, genetics, social relationships, and stress.

Infinity, pizza, spiders, shoes, pizza, iPhones, sleep, pizza, code names, iPads, games, pizza… When we asked elementary students to think about anything these were the responses. However, when we asked elementary students to think about anything but a yellow jeep, the kids told us they thought of the yellow jeep about 100 times in a minute. One child even thought of yellow pizza. Why? Well, as we explained this past Friday at the PIA Outreach Event…

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Signal Detection: Decision Making in Uncertainty

Carolyn Bufford

Carolyn Bufford

As a grad student in Cognitive Psychology, Carolyn enjoys studying intersections of perception, learning, and technology in vision and music. She earned her B.S. in Cognitive Science from UCLA. She enjoys choral singing and dabbling in photography.
Carolyn Bufford

Latest posts by Carolyn Bufford (see all)

We all experience uncertainty: How did I do on that test? What do they think of me? Where did I leave my keys? Is my phone ringing? In these and other uncertain situations,

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Outreach Event: Brain Awareness Week 2015!

Jenna Cummings

Jenna is a doctoral student in the Health Psychology department at UCLA. Her program of research crosses work on eating and alcohol use while exploring topics like reward, reinforcement, genetics, social relationships, and stress.

Imagine your typical morning. You crave some sugary cereal to get you fueled for the day ahead. You dash out the door to realize you forgot your keys. And – especially for you teenagers – as you’re heading out to school, you realize that you’d rather go on a spontaneous adventure today… Is it possible that all these behaviors are connected? Psychology in Action outreach coordinators Jenna Cummings and Nicco Reggente, and PIA member Micah…

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How to Take Good Notes: Go Low-Tech

Carolyn Bufford

Carolyn Bufford

As a grad student in Cognitive Psychology, Carolyn enjoys studying intersections of perception, learning, and technology in vision and music. She earned her B.S. in Cognitive Science from UCLA. She enjoys choral singing and dabbling in photography.
Carolyn Bufford

Latest posts by Carolyn Bufford (see all)

More and more students are opting to take notes on laptops to save trees and – they assume – take better notes. But is this assumption correct?

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Tips for Graduate School Admission Interviews: through the years

Joey Ka-Yee Essoe

Ph.D. Student Researcher at Rissman Memory Lab, UCLA
Joey is a graduate student of Behavioural Neuroscience in UCLA, minors in Cognitive psychology and Quantitative Psychology. She is trained in simultaneously EEG/fMRI, behavioural experimentation utilising virtual reality (VR), including virtual world development and logistical interfaces between VR and statistical software. She is now expanding to fMRI compatible paradigms, fMRI MVPA analyses, and advanced statistical modelling.

She grew up in Hong Kong under English rule (please do pardon her spelling), then spent half her life living and loving San Francisco. Now in Los Angeles, she is a member of University Bible Church and the Rissman Memory Laboratory.

Joey served as Blog Master of Psychology in Action since January 2013, and has served as her President since 2014.

http://www.jessoe.com

It’s that time of year again… The wait is almost over, invitations for graduate school interviews are going out. Perhaps your experience is/would be like mine: cries of joy and then… “OMG OMG OMG what do I do when I get there?” Congratulations for being in the minority of applicants who need to conduct this search! Here is what Psychology in Action has offered in the previous years, thought it might be helpful to have…

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