Psychology and Social Behavior's graduate program #19 among public universities

March 2017

Psychology and Social Behavior graduate program placed in top 25 among public universities in annual list

The doctorate (Ph.D.) program in the Department of Psychology and Social Behavior is ranked #19 among public universities in the country by U.S. News and World Report, and 36th overall out of 220 universities.

Newkirk Center for Science & Society named home for National Registry of Exonerations

March 2017

Repository noted as leading source of information for official criminal conviction reversals

The UCI Newkirk Center for Science and Society, is now the institutional home for the National Registry of Exonerationsthe internationally recognized repository of information and research on exonerations of innocent defendants convicted of crimes in the U.S.

A joint project of the UCI Newkirk Center for Science & Society, University of Michigan Law School and Michigan State University College of Law, the NRE was founded in 2012 in conjunction with the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law. The registry, which relies entirely on public information, collects, analyzes and disseminates detailed data on every known exoneration since 1989. These are the cases in which a person was wrongly convicted of a crime and later cleared of all the charges based on new evidence.

Personal adversity builds extreme political views, study finds

March 2017

Stressful events are a catalyst for polarized beliefs

People who experience adversity are likely to become more extreme in their existing political beliefs, according to a recent study led by Roxane Cohen Silver, Professor of Psychology & Social Behavior.

Both the number of past stressful events and those occurring over the prior year consistently predicted more firmly held opinions, whether conservative or liberal.

“We found that adults who experience a range of adverse events over their lifetimes, such as serious illness or a community disaster, are more likely to express extreme or polarized views on a variety of topics. This appears to be the case even when those topics, such as political opinions, have little or nothing to do with the adverse events they encountered,” Cohen Silver said. “Our study suggests that traumatic experiences may lead to long-lasting changes in a person’s tendency to become more polarized in his or her political attitudes.”

Oroville Dam's close call shows regulatory need to account for climate change

March 2017

Nícola Ulibarrí, Assistant Professor of Planning, Policy and Design, wrote a feature for The Sacramento Bee. In light of the recent events with Oroville Dam, she educates readers on the need to "strengthen the regulatory process to ensure safer operations of dams." In this article, she outlines the steps needed to reduce the likelihood of the country's dams from failing.

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