Why Sharing Good News Matters For Your Relationships

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 the latest season of HBO’s comedy series Veep, the President, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, makes small talk with her White House Press Secretary by asking “When’s your baby coming?” Elated to share his good news, the Press Secretary launches into details of his adopted baby’s arrival. An impatient look from Dreyfus shuts down his story, and he mumbles, “Misunderstood your level of interest, sorry.” The fictional President’s staff on Veep are not the…

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Reinforcement vs Punishment: from Animal Training to Theology

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

Ever felt “positively punished” when your dog-trainer or psychologist inundate you with these lingo? Reinforcement and punishment are important components of social interactions. They are most often discussed in context of those wielding authority and their subjects (e.g., in childrearing and animal training); occasionally to interactions between equals. However, these concepts speak even to unexpected territories such as the intellectual and spiritual pursuit of theology. Download article as PDF

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Know When to Put on Rose-Colored Lenses: When Bias is Useful

Mariana A. Preciado

Mariana Preciado is a 4th year Ph.D. student in social psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles. She did her undergraduate degree at Yale University where she became interested in deconstructionism, the self, and the nature of “truth.” At UCLA, she does research on the aspects of our social environment that impact the way we interpret our experiences and think about ourselves. Currently, she is doing research on the factors other than actual sexual experience that impact the way people think about their sexuality. Mariana is writing for Psychology in Action because she loves science, and she wants everyone in the world to know how to appreciate and love science, too.
For more information about Mariana’s research go to http://ucla.academia.edu/MarianaPreciado

The idea of “positive illusions” is one that has been popular in social psychology since Taylor and Brown published their 1988 paper, “Illusion and well-being: A social psychological perspective on mental health.” Simply put, positive illusions are biased perceptions of reality that are thought to be good for mental health. For instance, studies have shown that people perceive themselves to be smarter, more attractive, and more virtuous than other people, and these overly optimistic perceptions…

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Is the way to a woman’s heart through her funny bone?

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

Say what you will about the findings in evolutionary psychology—they certainly have good narratives. One of the latest, published in the July issue of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, uses sexual selection theory to argue that humor is important to men and women in heterosexual romantic contexts, albeit in different ways. Download article as PDF

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