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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“Ballot Behavior: Politics & Psychology” – May 23, 2016

Jeffrey K. Bye

Jeffrey K. Bye

Ph.D. Candidate at Reasoning Lab, UCLA
Jeff is a sixth-year Ph.D. Candidate at UCLA Psychology majoring in Computational Cognition in the Cognitive Area. He received his B.A. in Cognitive Science from Pomona College, with a subconcentration in Computer Science and minor in Philosophy. At UCLA, he works with Dr. Patricia Cheng in the Reasoning Lab. His primary research focus is to use both experimental and computational techniques to study causal inference, reasoning, and math education. He hopes to apply his findings to designing new teaching methods and games for math and other conceptual subjects.He has written for Psychology in Action since January 2011, served as President of Psychology in Action from 2012-2014, and now sits on the Advisory Board.
Jeffrey K. Bye

Psychology in Action is proud to announce our fifth annual interdisciplinary symposium, Monday, May 23rd, 2016, from 4 to 6pm in UCLA’s CNSI Auditorium. The discussion will focus on factors that influence voters’ beliefs and behavior. The event is completely FREE and open to the general public! We hope to see you there!   During the first hour (4–5pm), each speaker will present a brief talk demonstrating their research on voting behavior.  The second hour (5–6pm) will feature an…

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A New Direction in Autism Research: Google Cloud

Tawny Tsang

Tawny Tsang

Tawny is a doctoral student in Developmental Psychology at UCLA. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Music at UC Berkeley (Go Bears!). Her research interests include understanding visual social attention and its relation to social and cognitive development in typically developing infants and those at-risk for Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Tawny Tsang

Latest posts by Tawny Tsang (see all)

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 with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Animating Hope” this week. This is part of Pope Francis’ initiative to rethink social issues and the…

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

Yalda T. Uhls

Yalda T. Uhls

Yalda T. Uhls, a former President of Psychology in Action, received her PhD in developmental psychology from UCLA. Today, she works as a senior researcher at the Children’s Digital Media Center@LA, UCLA campus, as well as the Regional Director of Common Sense Media, a national non-profit that focuses on helping children, families and educators navigate the digital world. Yalda’s research focuses on how older and newer media impacts the social behavior of preadolescents.In addition to her peer-reviewed published research, Yalda writes on her own blog (ParentingInTheDigitalAge.com), as well as on the Huff Post. Awards include UCLA’s Psychology in Action Award, for excellence in communicating psychological research to audiences beyond academia, as well as honorable mention for the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Student Research Fellowship.Prior to her academic career, Yalda spent over fifteen years as an entertainment executive and producer. Notable positions include Senior VP at MGM as well as consultant to Google, Santa Monica.Yalda has two amazing children, and was able to apply what she learned in developmental psychology to parenting (the ultimate project based learning!).
Psychology in Action allows Yalda to combine her two passions, science and storytelling, and to communicate incredible psychological research to people who want to learn a little bit more about human behavior but don't have the time or the statistical training to read a journal article.
Yalda T. Uhls

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 away from looking at faces, change the nature of what we learn about the social world? Our study, at the Children’s Digital Media…

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“Criminally Minded: The Psychology and Law of Culpability” Symposium – May 16, 4pm

Jeffrey K. Bye

Jeffrey K. Bye

Ph.D. Candidate at Reasoning Lab, UCLA
Jeff is a sixth-year Ph.D. Candidate at UCLA Psychology majoring in Computational Cognition in the Cognitive Area. He received his B.A. in Cognitive Science from Pomona College, with a subconcentration in Computer Science and minor in Philosophy. At UCLA, he works with Dr. Patricia Cheng in the Reasoning Lab. His primary research focus is to use both experimental and computational techniques to study causal inference, reasoning, and math education. He hopes to apply his findings to designing new teaching methods and games for math and other conceptual subjects.He has written for Psychology in Action since January 2011, served as President of Psychology in Action from 2012-2014, and now sits on the Advisory Board.
Jeffrey K. Bye

Psychology in Action is proud to announce the third annual Psychology Interdisciplinary Events symposium, Criminally Minded: The Psychology and Law of Culpability, to be held Friday, May 16th, 2014, from 4 to 6pm in UCLA’s CNSI Auditorium.  The discussion will focus on legal and psychological issues regarding mens rea.  The event is completely FREE and open to the general public!  We hope to see you there!

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How to Change the World

Britt Ahlstrom

Britt Ahlstrom is a graduate student in UCLA's PhD Health Psychology program. Britt researches the impact of severe and long-duration stressors on eating behavior and the use of novel techniques to increase interest and ability in the sciences. Britt is particularly interested in integrating health psychology with other fields, such as aerospace medicine and education. More info at http://brittahlstrom.weebly.com

If you enter the world of research psychology, there will come a time when you’re talking about your studies at a party and you suddenly realize that no one cares. If you’re lucky, this will happen before you’ve been in academia for 10 years and published 30 papers that 5 of your closest friends have read. Or skimmed. Let’s be honest, they read the title. So how can you take the leap from academia to real…

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Biased About Biases: The Origins and Growth of Human Conflict

Evan Kelso

Evan is a current graduate student in the Clinical area at UCLA.

Latest posts by Evan Kelso (see all)

————————— “We are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right. Intellectually, it is possible to carry on this process for an indefinite time: the only check on it is that sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield.”                                                                – George Orwell, 1946  —————————…

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Everything You Need to Know about RDoC: Answers to 5 Commonly Asked Questions

Dylan

Dylan

Dylan is a doctoral student in the clinical psychology program at UCLA. Originally from Pennsylvania, she majored in Psychological and Brain Sciences as an undergraduate at Dartmouth College, where she became interested in affective neuroscience and the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the development of psychopathology. Her research focuses on the neural systems supporting social and emotional processing among typically developing children and adolescents and those at risk for serious mental illness, including schizophrenia. Dylan joined Psychology in Action because she is passionate about scientific research and sharing it with the broader community.
Dylan

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), a frequently referenced manual of clinical diagnosis published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), has been called the “Bible” for the field of clinical psychology. Consistent with its prominent role in diagnosis and treatment considerations, research on mental health has traditionally focused on the DSM’s classification system with a focus on categories of disorders. However, following the publication of DSM-5, the National Institute of Mental Health…

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Scientific Support for Same-Sex Parents

Emma H. Geller

Emma grew up in eastern Massachusetts, and received her B.A. in psychology from The George Washington University in DC.At UCLA, she worked with Jim Stigler in the Teaching and Learning Lab (TALL), studying aspects of learning and measurement in the context of math and science education. Outside of academics, she loves to dance and is part of a contemporary dance company on campus. She also volunteers with UCLA Unicamp as a summer camp counselor for underprivileged youth in Los Angeles County. Emma graduated with her Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology in 2016.

Latest posts by Emma H. Geller (see all)

An article was published today in the Huffington Post, titled “Romney: ‘Some Gays Are Actually Having Children. It’s Not Right on Paper. It’s Not Right in Fact.’” The article reviews a Boston Globe piece from yesterday in which some of Romney’s actions as governor of Massachusetts indicate his antipathy towards gay marriage. In particular, the article criticizes the fact that Romney refused to allow the Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records and Statistics to revise birth…

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Bayes’ Rule and Bomb Threats

Emma H. Geller

Emma grew up in eastern Massachusetts, and received her B.A. in psychology from The George Washington University in DC.At UCLA, she worked with Jim Stigler in the Teaching and Learning Lab (TALL), studying aspects of learning and measurement in the context of math and science education. Outside of academics, she loves to dance and is part of a contemporary dance company on campus. She also volunteers with UCLA Unicamp as a summer camp counselor for underprivileged youth in Los Angeles County. Emma graduated with her Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology in 2016.

Latest posts by Emma H. Geller (see all)

Earlier today, I read an article published on Washington’s Blog titled “Fear of Terror Makes People Stupid.”  The central claim of the post was that the government purposefully induces fear of a terrorist attack in order to get Americans to relinquish more of their civil liberties (see: Patriot Act), but this fear is silly (so the post claims) because we are so much more likely to die from things like heart disease, car accidents, and…

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An argument for the end of political ads?

Stephanie Vezich

Stephanie Vezich

Stephanie is a psychology doctoral student in the social area. Born and raised in southern California, she moved north to attend college at Stanford, where she earned her BA and MA in psychology. Currently she is working with Professor Matt Lieberman in the Social Cognitive Neuroscience (SCN) lab and Professor Noah Goldstein at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Her primary research interests lie in the neural correlates of persuasion, particularly with regard to pro-environmental persuasive messages, but she is interested in a variety of social psychological phenomena more broadly.
Stephanie Vezich

With election season coming up, the presidential candidates have invested heavily—recruiting top ad executives, media researchers, producers, etc.—in creating the perfect ads to highlight their own strengths and their opponents’ shortcomings. But how much does this effort really sway voters?

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The Politics of Eating and Exercising: Are We Getting It Right?

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.

Eat healthier. Exercise. Our culture is currently full of messages telling us to change our habits, to turn us into a leaner, healthier society. While these messages are easier said than done, they’re perfectly warranted: The Centers for Disease Control reports that childhood obesity has tripled since the 1970s. So what can we do to fight childhood obesity? According to Kristen Harrison and other researchers in the Division of Nutrition Sciences at the University of…

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A Nation Divided: Partisanship and Morality

Derek Powell

Derek Powell is a 5th year graduate student studying under Keith Holyoak in the UCLA Reasoning Lab. Using experimental and computational methods, his research examines higher-order cognition, with a focus on relational and abstract thought. His dissertation investigates the cognitive processes involved in moral reasoning. His other projects examine people’s understanding of their own knowledge and how they revise their beliefs.

Latest posts by Derek Powell (see all)

It seems that the divide between conservatives and liberals grows sharper every day, especially during election season.  But what is the source of this bitter partisanship? Research by Jonathan Haidt and Jesse Graham may begin to provide an answer.  Their research suggests that people of different political affiliations are not merely divided over the specific values they hold, but are divided on the very foundations of their values.  Using evolutionary theory and anthropological evidence as…

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Swing state neurons?

Stephanie Vezich

Stephanie Vezich

Stephanie is a psychology doctoral student in the social area. Born and raised in southern California, she moved north to attend college at Stanford, where she earned her BA and MA in psychology. Currently she is working with Professor Matt Lieberman in the Social Cognitive Neuroscience (SCN) lab and Professor Noah Goldstein at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Her primary research interests lie in the neural correlates of persuasion, particularly with regard to pro-environmental persuasive messages, but she is interested in a variety of social psychological phenomena more broadly.
Stephanie Vezich

In a tight election, attention immediately turns to swing voters. Poll analysts swarm them with a barrage of questions to predict which candidate may garner more of their crucial votes. In anticipation of the 2008 election, analysts went one step further and looked not only at swing voters’ survey responses but also their neural responses.

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Quick Tips for Becoming Poll-Literate

Jeffrey K. Bye

Jeffrey K. Bye

Ph.D. Candidate at Reasoning Lab, UCLA
Jeff is a sixth-year Ph.D. Candidate at UCLA Psychology majoring in Computational Cognition in the Cognitive Area. He received his B.A. in Cognitive Science from Pomona College, with a subconcentration in Computer Science and minor in Philosophy. At UCLA, he works with Dr. Patricia Cheng in the Reasoning Lab. His primary research focus is to use both experimental and computational techniques to study causal inference, reasoning, and math education. He hopes to apply his findings to designing new teaching methods and games for math and other conceptual subjects.He has written for Psychology in Action since January 2011, served as President of Psychology in Action from 2012-2014, and now sits on the Advisory Board.
Jeffrey K. Bye

If you’re a political junkie like me, or just a casual election-follower, you’ve probably read a few polls that made your jaw drop.  Here are some things a skeptical poll consumer should look for before letting their jaw fully drop.   Selection Bias One of the first questions you should ask yourself when you read a poll is “What kinds of people did they ask?”  What we want in a poll is to get an…

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Changing How We Look at Mental Illness and Changing Lives

One in five children in the US suffers from mental illness, but less than 25% of those children actually receive mental health services. That’s absolutely terrifying, especially if you consider all the kids who have other psychological struggles but don’t meet diagnostic criteria for a psychological disorder. How many children then aren’t getting the help they so desperately need? What kind of effect is that having on the future generations of workers, leaders, innovators, educators,…

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